Fingerprinting School Kids Stuns Britons

A growing tendency in British public schools to fingerprint students, even without the approval of parents, is sending shock waves among Britons, already seeking their country edging closer than ever to a Big Brother society.

Fingerprinting School Kids Stuns Britons
A growing tendency in British public schools to fingerprint students, even without the approval of parents, is sending shock waves among Britons, already seeking their country edging closer than ever to a Big Brother society, the Daily Mail reported on Monday, April 9.

"This is an abrogation of moral duty," said Phil Booth, of the NO2ID campaign, a UK-wide, non-partisan campaign opposing the government's planned ID card and National Identity Register.

"It is a disgrace."

Fingerprints of a million children are believed to have already been taken with more than 3,500 British schools using pupils' thumbprints in borrowing library books and gaining access to school dinners.

A further 4.9 million sets of prints of children could now by added to the figure after local education authorities sanctioned the practice.

Some schools were "tricking" students to get their fingerprints.

The headmaster of Ghyllside Primay School in Kendal, Cumbria, scanned the pupils' prints by leading them to believe it was part of a spy game.

"... there's no need to tell your parents," he told them.

"Schools should be teaching children to look after their biometric information," said an infuriated Booth.

He said that in a world where keeping one's biometric information secure is very important, kids are being taught to hand it over "for the most trivial of matters."

Britons in great numbers have already rejected the government's new biometric identity cards, fearing that their very personal information could be misused.

Under the multi-billion plan, people as young as 16 applying for their first adult passport as of 2008 will have to attend a police station where they will be subject to background checks, questioning to test their story against official records, photographs, and fingerprinting.

Watched

Critics say fingerprinting school students is part of a "softening-up" exercise to prepare them to accept life in an increasingly watched society.

"The surveillance state is creeping up on us, and it needs resisting," insisted Tory frontbencher Damian Green.

"We must not allow children to assume they are growing up in a world where their private information belongs to someone else."

Human rights group Privacy International has described Britain as the worst EU member in terms of protecting individuals' privacy.

British Information Commissioner Richard Thomas recently admitted that Britain was turning into a "surveillance society".

There are 4.2 million CCTV cameras spreading across Britain with each Briton being captured about 300 times a day on camera.

The government is planning to install "talking" CCTVs allowing security staff to shout at people spotted committing anti-social behavior.

Firms also monitor their own employees either by tracking their movements in company vehicles via the use of GPS satellites or by counting the number of key strokes they make on their computers.
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