Is Your Child's Biometric Data Safe?
The Tattler has learned that dozens of Anna Yates Elementary students were rounded up today by school officials and fingerprinted in order to have their biometric data stored in a government database. What crimes were these nine year olds convicted of? accused of? suspected of? None. Instead, this is the price our children must pay for access to Emery Unified's School Lunch
|Emery knows what|
its doing, right?
What could possibly
Parents have the ability to "opt out" of the biometric scanning of their children, but must request the opt out form from the District.
Parents nationwide have objected to similar programs, some bringing lawsuits to prevent the practice, and the ACLU has often gotten involved. The concerns expressed include:
- Given the prevalence these days of data breaches, what guarantees do we have that our children's biometric data will not fall into the hands of malicious third parties?
- What sort of message does it send to our children when we tell them that they have to submit to a government-initiated data collection procedure about their own unique biological markers?
- Doesn't the entire procedure of fingerprinting, especially in a largely minority school District, evoke images of assumed criminality that our District has pledged to oppose and prevent?
- How much money is the District spending on this technology parents don't want when the District is not spending money on other technologies that would actually assist in student learning?
- Were less intrusive alternatives considered? Student ID cards? Anonymous value cards?
- What happens when a student leaves the District? What guarantees do we have that the stored biometric data will be destroyed?
- Why weren't parents given much more explicit notification about this?
- Districts and companies that produce the biometric technologies often argue that "fingerprints" per se are not stored by their systems, merely unique points within the fingerprint represented digitally. These responses seem to ignore that a unique identifier is a unique identifier. If the system works at all, then it contains personal, private, biological data about our children. Data that should not be collected or stored without much more explicit notification. Data that the District should never have proposed to gather to begin with.