Campus Cards, College and University Identification and Security

UK to schools: no biometric readings on minors without consent

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The British government has advised that schools will not be able to use students’ biometric data unless parents consent, reports politics.co.uk.

The government’s advice, released on Tuesday for consultation, was updated to include items from the newly enacted Freedoms Act 2012. This new advice will take effect in September 2013.


This ruling may prevent schools from using biometrics for functions such as attendance tracking, library access or processing cashless payments. It results from parents being upset over schools using their children’s personal data without permission.

The new legislation says that students under age 18 will need written parental consent in order to allow this type of data usage. Schools will also need to follow the principles in the Data Protection Act.

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott is expected to sign a bill that would ban biometric in schools throughout the state. In this latest edition of the Regarding ID podcast, legislators detail why they think a ban is necessary instead of providing an opt-out provision. Senator Dorothy Hukill (R – Port Orange) says the biometric ban is intended to protect students from having their identities stolen even though she admits that there is no recorded instance of a biometric database being breached and used to steal an individual’s identity.  

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The much-publicized biometrics bill in the state of Florida – SB 188 proposed by Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange – has passed through he House without any additional amendments. The bill awaits Gov. Rick Scott’s signature before becoming law.

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The use of biometrics in schools is a hot-button issue, and one that raises significant concerns over the privacy and civil rights of young people. When conducted without the express consent of students – and more importantly their parents and guardians – the results can be disastrous. Just ask the folks at the Polk County School District.

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Nigeria’s Osun State Government has launched smart identity card for all public school students within the province. The initiative began with the Salvation Army School, and stresses a commitment on the part of the government to use technology to improve planning, resource allocation and service delivery in the education sector.

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