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BBC mulls database of kids

Blue Peter's got your number

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Still plotting ways to root out Blue Peter benefits cheats, puritanical BBC producers are chewing over plans for an intelligence database that petty officials can use to keep an eye on pesky kids.

Producers of Blue Peter, the hit children's TV magazine show, have been considering options to prevent imposters from buying the privileges conferred to Blue Peter badge winners (such as free entry to tourist attractions), since discovering the badges were being sold on eBay.

A BBC spokeswoman said the original idea, for a Blue Peter ID card to be given to badge winners, might not be easy to do in practice. A card might require participating tourist attractions to invest in scanners that could read the cards and distinguish between genuine Blue Peter badges and those from the other side of the tracks.

Alternatives being considered include a card with a hologram, "or some sort of database they can check", she said.

"I can't give you dates yet because they are still working on proposals, but it will definitely be before the end of the series so they can get the system up and running over the summer."

As about 50,000 Blue Peter badges are awarded to kids every year, the turn of a generation could pass with the details half a million kids being captured on a database. ®

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