Feeds

ConLibs to outlaw kiddyprinting without permission

Dabs grab confab blab

The essential guide to IT transformation

The new government plans to ban the controversial practice in schools of taking children's fingerprints without their permission.

The decision is likely to mean a change in the law. According to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), as it stands the Data Protection Act allows schools to take pupil fingerprints without permission, prompting outrage from parents' groups.

In response, in 2007 the ICO issued non-binding guidance to schools suggesting that they ought to seek permission.

In a brief document explaining the broad terms of their coalition yesterday, the Conservative and Liberal Democrats committed to "outlawing the finger-printing of children at school without parental permission".

The Register recently heard from Chris Halliday, a father in the Scottish borders who has battled authorities for several years after his daughter's fingerprints were taken without the family's permission.

Fighting for answers from the ICO, he was eventually told that as well as having no choice as a parent, his daughter's consent was also not needed by the secondary school. Her "consent could not be freely given", the ICO wrote, because a fingerprint was needed to use the school dinners system.

Halliday's anger at the regulatory response chimes with that of campaign groups such as Leave Them Kids Alone, which argues that being forced to give biometric data to access normal services is a breach of children's human rights.

There have already been moves to rein in school fingerprinting at local level. In Liverpool, the city council passed a motion banning promotion of biometrics in schools by the local authority.

The ICO said said today that it was awaiting further details of the proposed national restrictions, which are due in the next two weeks. Responsibility for drawing up the new policy will fall to the Department of Justice, under Ken Clarke. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.