What’s your children’s privacy worth? Should they be subjected to fingerprinting just to take out a library book? That’s the question parents at a school in the UK are grappling with.
From the Telegraph:
Under the scheme, pupils swipe a bar code inside the book they want borrow then press their thumb on to a scanner to authorise the loan. Books are returned in the same way.
The scheme is being trialled on junior classes at Higher Lane Primary in Whitefield, Bury, Greater Manchester.
Officials confirmed it is due to be extended to all pupils at the school, one of the areas largest primary schools, with 453 pupils aged four to 11.
School authorities defended the scheme on Thursday, and moved to reassure parents that the voluntary system, is heavily encrypted or coded and that no images of fingerprints would be stored.
But critics said they were “appalled” at the system, developed by Microsoft which is also being trialled in other parts of the country.
“This is quite clearly appalling,” said Phil Booth, national coordinator of NO2ID, a privacy campaign group.
Critics object to the fingerprint system because, in addition to being a waste of resources, it “conditions” children to hand over personal information.