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Brussels quizzes UK on school kiddyprinting

This will hurt us more than it hurts you, Cameron minor

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The European Commission has raised "significant concerns" with Britain over schools that collect and store children's fingerprints.

Officials in Brussels have written to the government after a father in Scotland, who objected to such a policy at his daughter's school, complained. Chris Halliday, whose case was first covered by The Register earlier this year, found that the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and courts offered no redress.

"We should be obliged if you could provide us with additional information both regarding the processing of the biometric data of minors in schools, with particular reference to the proportionality and necessity in the light of the legitimate aims sought to be achieved, and the issue concerning the availability of judicial redress," the Commission's letter, reported by The Daily Telegraph, says.

As UK privacy law currently stands, schools are able to insist on capturing biometric data. Mr Halliday was told by the ICO that his daughter's consent "could not be freely given" because a fingerprint was required to use the school canteen and library.

Guy Herbert of NO2ID said: "The big issue is that people have no redress. There is nothing people can do. If we had a right of privacy then people would have access to the courts."

After the election, the coalition promised that it would "outlaw the fingerprinting of children at school without parental permission".

The Ministry of Justice, which has responsibility for changes to the Data Protection Act, had not responded to a request for comment on its progress at publication time. ®

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