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The finger of suspicion; Parents' anger over bio-prints.

Byline: by BEN TURNER Education Reporter

A LIVERPOOL school has come under fire for introducing fingerprint style technology.

Some parents have branded Childwall college's move a breach of civil liberties and fear the data could end up in the wrong hands.

The school today defended its decision to install the biometrics technology, which it said was backed by most families and was revolutionising its canteen.

The equipment turns parts of each child's fingerprint into an electronic digital "signature", giving them access to doors, library books, school meals and the register.

But at least three parents have objected to Childwall college's decision to install it without their permission.

Tina Ray, 38, who is threatening to pull her children out of school during lunch times, said: "I am furious the school can do this without written consent.

"I think it is a step too far and breach of their civil liberties.

"If I cannot resolve this, my children will be coming home for lunch."

But head teacher Dewi Phillips said parents were "extensively consulted".

He stressed actual fingerprints were not stored and the cashless system was cutting queuing, removed stigma for pupils on free meals, could be used to monitor healthy eating and was "exciting for pupils".

blog

Education reporter Ben Turner gives his take on biometrics at http://blogs.liverpoolecho.co.uk/schoolassembly

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 30, 2008
Words:240
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