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Comments

Malcolm Melville

This issue seem to raise questions about schools taking un-quantified risks that do not need to be taken (there are viable alternatives), in the name of convenience rather than the child's or the communities best interests. A lot of the other points fall into the conspiracy theory category which people may choose to accept or reject. What amazes me is that even though this has been bouncing about for some time (see the reference on the BBC web site going back to 2002), schools are still not consulting parents but simply pressing ahead. And when parents query, the issue seems to be dismissed.
From a legal point of view, if the risks materialize into liabilities in the future, who is to be held to account? The DfES, the manufacturer, the school head, the governors? Who knows, but surely it is time someone started pointing out that there is enough ambiguity from a legal standpoint that schools should stop introducing such systems, maybe even remove existing ones, until there is more clarity.
Is there any law that covers who may use biometrics, and what safeguards they must have in place? For example, suppose the library software has a flaw in it and the fingerprint images are recoverable from the hard disk- even though they are hashed for the purpose of the system - and then subsequently found at a crime scene having been placed there by latex transfer or the like - is the manufacturer liable, or does the license place the responsibility on the school? Is there a case of negligence to be brought? Are our law enforcement agencies not concerend that fingerprints may go into circulation? Surely this would add to the complexity of bringing successful criminal prosecutions if fingerprints became a completely unreliable piece of evidence because you can obtain fingerprints over the net?
Biometrics seems to be an area where the law is lagging behind the technology but we can surely agree that there are risks and that those risks are not being evaluated currently.

Lisa Miller

This is ridiculous!! What happens when the child grow up into an adult, and their fingerprints are now on file, in some database!

they have never commmited a crime, yet they are part of the database system! they could leave their prints somewhere, and get blamed for something!

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