Feeds

Parliament won't debate school fingerprinting

Just no time

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The question of whether it's necessary or desirable to take school children's fingerprints has not made it on the agenda for Parliament.

Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West and the Liberal Democrat schools spokesman, requested a Parliamentary debate on school fingerprinting last Thursday.

"Legal opinion, including that of the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency, has stated that this practice contravenes the Data Protection Act 1998. Does he agree that it is time to debate this important subject in the House?" Mulholland asked Jack Straw, leader of the House of Commons.

Straw refused, claiming ignorance: "I am not aware of the practice [of fingerprinting children at school], but obviously people have accepted it," he said.

"There is a problem with ensuring people's identity, and one of the ways of doing that is to use biometric data," he went on, "Security in libraries is a big issue for younger and older people."

The matter could be left for an adjournment debate, Straw said.

In a written statement, Mulholland said: "It is precisely because of that ignorance among many MPs that I want to have a debate."

He said the DfES, which has promised to issue guidance for schools that want to fingerprint pupils, should consult with schools and parents before doing so.

"I'm concerned that there won't be proper consultation because ministers' top priority won't be children's rights but mitigating the political difficulty it would cause to admit that they'd allowed illegal practices to continue under their noses."

Mulholland has already tabled an Early Day Motion on school fingerprinting, to which 30 MPs have added their names.

It noted the MPs' "alarm" at schools taking biometrics off of children "as young as three".

"Collecting the data from children under 12 without parental consent directly contravenes the Data Protection Act. No child should have biometric information taken without the express written permission of their parents," it said. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?