The Guardian
British school pupils to be fingerprinted
Sun Jul 16, 2006 19:57

British school pupils to be fingerprinted

July 17, 2006

LONDON: Pupils at a secondary school in Berkshire, west of London, will be fingerprinted and their details kept on a database in a controversial scheme to be introduced this year.

The plan to scan pupils' prints each time they enter or leave the school has been criticised by senior pupils, who say their human rights are being infringed. They say the storage of their biometric data on computer systems will breach their right to privacy.

Edgbarrow school, in Crowthorne, plans to pilot the scheme with senior pupils for a year, beginning in September, before deciding whether to fingerprint every pupil. Participation will be voluntary, the school said.

Shaun Woodage, 17, said "clocking in and out" would make him feel like a criminal. "The lack of trust and respect from the school to the students seems to be apparent. We have the right to hold on to our own biometrics and have the right to say who we shall disclose them to."

The head teacher, Robert Elsey, said: "We have spoken to students and received a positive response regarding the new scheme."

A spokesman for the civil liberties group Liberty said: "Our main concerns are what will happen to this data after the students have left the school.

"We will be monitoring the scheme."

URL SOURCE: The Guardian




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