Anger over York schools that fingerprint their five-year-olds

Gavin Aitchison reports in the York Press how the possible imposition of Identity Cards is being used as a justification for other invasions of privacy:

Thousands of children in York are being fingerprinted by their schools, including one without parents’ knowledge, The Press can reveal today.

Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show 11 schools in the city are using personal biometric data to identify pupils, but one said today they had suspended the practice, after a local politician voiced concerns.

Human rights campaigners have reacted angrily to the news, saying the fingerprinting was unnecessary and an invasion of privacy, and questioning its safety.

They said children were being “conditioned” into thinking it were normal to have to divulge personal information.

But Chris Bridge, head teacher at Huntington Secondary, said the system was preparing pupils for a world in which terrorism was rife, and their privacy would be further invaded.

He said: “These children, frankly, are growing up in a world where identity and being certain about your own identity is increasingly important.

“All the measures to do with ID cards will possibly invade their privacy even further, but the world has no answer to terrorism without using these things and I would see us as getting them ready for the world in which they will have to live.”