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School fingerprint plans reviewed

BBC | September 28 2006

Plans to fingerprint pupils attending two Dumfries and Galloway school libraries are to be reviewed.

Objections had been received to the schemes at Lockerbie and Dumfries academies on civil liberties grounds.

The majority of parents questioned had given their approval for their children to take part in the computerised finger mapping system.

Education councillors have asked for a further report to allay any concerns that remain over the plans.

The technology allows thumb prints to be mapped, encrypted and stored as a unique code number.

The scanning system will allow pupils to borrow and return books without the need for assistance.

The equipment is already in use in about 3,000 schools across the UK and is said to increase book lending levels and reduce loss of stock.

Letters have been sent to parents seeking permission for their children to take part or to opt out.

Legal requirements

At Lockerbie, about 92% of parents who have responded so far have agreed to the use of the system.

However, some have raised questions about the security of the information and claim it is treating pupils like criminals.

The local authority has said the technology meets all legal and data protection requirements.

In order to further allay fears, councillors have asked for a further report on the plans to the next education and community services committee.

The scheme is already in use in Angus, Aberdeenshire and Edinburgh.

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