Biometric data of more than 7,000 students has been obtained by secondary schools in Cornwall, United Kingdom, according to the Cornish Guardian.
In total, 12 schools have collected fingerprint data of their students using electronic scanners since the technology first came into use nearly ten years ago; these figures indicate that more than a third of secondary schools in Cornwall are using the technology.
Treviglas College in Newquay also uses the technology, with 407 of its students using the system. In Helston, 818 students used biometric technology and 361 in Falmouth.
Several schools have fingerprint scanners installed around their buildings. Students walk up and place their thumb in the scanner, which reads their print and identifies them. The student is then given access to check out a library book, log their attendance or pay for cafeteria food, with money automatically debited from their account.
Fowey Community College, where 594 students use the technology, implemented the biometrics system for ease of use, where it previously used plastic lunch cards, which were often lost or broken. The system also enables Fowey to ensure students are getting a balanced diet and eating a proper lunch.
A school spokesman said that the possibilities of fraud are slim. The scanner converts the print into a code to identify the individual using a biometric algorithm. This data is deleted once the student leaves and no data is ever stored on mobile devices.
All schools are required by law to obtain written parental permission before collecting biometric data from students. Students opting out are provided with PIN numbers as a substitute.
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