Fingerprinting of school children revealed

It has emerged that school children are having their fingerprints scanned by a system that is in common use in school libraries.

Apr 6, 2006
By David Howell
Detective Chief Superintendent Jon McAdam

It has emerged that school children are having their fingerprints scanned by a system that is in common use in school libraries.

Primrose Hill Primary School in North London has come under the spotlight as it uses the Micro Librarian Systems’ Junior Librarian system that has been in use since 2002.

Terri Dowty, director of Action for the Rights of Children told the Guardian newspaper: “One of the worries we have is the rather casual use of biometric data. If children get used to thinking biometric data can be used for trivial purposes – and a school library is a rather trivial purpose – how do they learn to be careful where they put their fingerprints and iris scans? The more you use biometric data and the more casually you use it, the more scope there is to exploit it.”

Biometrics in schools has also extended to other areas, with one school in Sunderland experimenting with iris scanning in its canteen. Fingerprints are also being increasingly used for registration at the beginning of the school day.

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