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Schools, colleges fight UK's biometric consent bill

Andy Williams   ||   Mar 21, 2011  ||   

UK’s Association of School and College Leaders, representing secondary school and college personnel, is fighting legislation that forces schools to seek approval from both parents before they can use their child’s biometric data.

It would be a “huge bureaucratic burden” for schools using fingerprint recognition systems for cardless libraries and cashless canteens, the association said. The new Protection of Freedoms Bill also gives pupils in schools and colleges the right to refuse to give their biometric data and compels schools to make alternative provisions for them.

Until now, schools have only had to explain to pupils and parents what they are doing, but seeking permission has not been obligatory. The association said schools already running the systems may see a surge in those deciding not to opt in. They also fear pupils may refuse to give their data just to make trouble.

The thousands of schools that already use the technology will also have to seek parental permission retroactively, even if their systems have been established for years. Read more here.

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