Some brief observations.
Divulging of the information should not be a problem when a legitimate
exemption can be claimed by a legitimate agency for a legitimate purpose.
Whether mass screening of any educational establishment’s fingerprints is a
worthwhile operation would seem to have more to do with the perceptions of
seriousness demanding such screening rather than cost.
I dare say all schools will will be briefed on how best to explain to any
victims approaching them why the numbers in their establishments are not
compatible with the numbers held by other agencies and therefore cannot be
used to solve the crime(s) they have suffered.
Fingerprint data could have many other useful purposes within the broader
educational environment, swipe the digit and a lifetime of personal
identification could be available for many existing and legitimate purposes.
The issue seems to have more to do with whether people wish to develop the
statistics, the people, the market, or control of the information and all of
those viewpoints probably appear within the educational sector as a whole.
What is the difference between a fingerprint, obtained quite fairly and
openly by a school, and a school photograph, obtained and held in many
In DP terms I personally see none, both are descriptive data in their
different forms, just as all other personal biometric measurements are.
As pointed out, principle three issues can impact, but proportionality
hardly ever seems to arise in these things, and with such strong ongoing
encouragement to virtually ignore principle five it would seem unlikely any
difficulty will arise there at the moment.
I once asked Elizabeth France just before she took up the old registrars
post, if technological developments should drive the DPA or the DPA should
provide a guiding framework for processing personal data where developing
technologies were concerned. :-) That question has been (to steal a term
used recently by Chris Pounder) efficiently and effectively answered many
times since then.
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 14:54:35 -0000
From: "Tinsley, Chris" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: School fingerprinting: Warning: likely to r aise blood pressure
Fingerprints are uniquely personal pieces of information and remain so
for the whole of your life. As an identifier it has been a kingpin of
forensic evidence for over qone hundred years. The question is do we
need to use something as personal, valuable, important and unchanging to
an individual as a fingerprint for the relatively mundane task of
issuing a library book for the convenience of the school. What wrong
with library tickets? Are we going to have to produce DNA samples to get
our bins collected?
I never believe officals when they say say that these things will only
be used for one purpose, the fingerprint will soon end up in the hands
of the police, MI5, MI6, Home Office, Foreign Office and even DEFRA.
And how secure is your school network.
Chris Tinsley MSc
Wiltshire County Council
Information is the key
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