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to refuse to allow school to take DSs fingerprints for new fingerprint technology?
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ChaoticEvil · 10/07/2019 10:35

DS1 & DS2 attend the same secondary school. Currently the school has a system of using key cards in order to get into the buildings and to buy lunch. They (I) pay an exorbitant fee when they lose the card, but they are easily replaced by filling in a form and the old cards blocked from being used. All fine.

The school wants to move to a fingerprint recognition system from September and plan to start taking all fingerprints over the last few weeks of this term. Apparently the actual fingerprint image won't be stored, but instead an algorithm based on unique points which have been taken from the image of the fingerprint.

I can't quite say why I am uncomfortable with this but I am.

AIBU to refuse to allow it? What would happen then?

Or assuming IABU can somehow help me allay my weird feeling about it!

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SylviaAndSidney · 10/07/2019 10:37

My daughter has used it for the last four years of high school, I think it's a good idea.

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MyOpinionIsValid · 10/07/2019 10:39

Biometrics are NOT finger prints. it is an algorithm. I thought the majority of schools have been doing this the best part of a decade and a half. They were certainly in place when my mid-20year olds were at secondary.

There have been quite literally hundreds of threads on this over the years.

Of course you can refuse – and your child will take a packed lunch.

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familycourtq · 10/07/2019 10:39

YANBU but majority opinion on MN is that you should hand over anything anyone in authority asks for at all times.

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ChicCroissant · 10/07/2019 10:40

It's a very common system and often used for school libraries as well as anything to do with money. The school will be able to tell you what will happen if you refuse.

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familycourtq · 10/07/2019 10:40

There was another thread on this on here quite recently.

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jessicawessica · 10/07/2019 10:41

I would imagine that if you refuse to sign up to it then your DCs are going to have to take a packed lunch instead.
The system is only used for lunchtimes and it's so much easier than having to have cash in the morning rush or having to keep replacing lost cards.

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Summertimeatthebeach · 10/07/2019 10:41

What do you think could happen?

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JasperHale · 10/07/2019 10:41

Same here, my DS15 has been using it since Y7.

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JacquesHammer · 10/07/2019 10:42

What are your objections?

DD’s school has fingerprint tech for everything, they’re a completely cashless school. It’s excellent!

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FelicityBeedle · 10/07/2019 10:43

It’s not a new system at all, I used it in secondary school over a decade ago. It’s absolutely fine, as you’ve already said they aren’t storing fingerprints so I’m struggling a little to see why you’re so worried

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wellbuggerme · 10/07/2019 10:44

this isn`t a new thing OP. It works fantasically! People that refuse this technology remind me of people being afraid of microwaves from phones/microwave ovens back in the day lol!!

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arethereanyleftatall · 10/07/2019 10:45

Sounds like the school, who know about what systems work best for the school, have come up with a system. And you want to argue it because the teachers don't have enough to do?

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MothralovesGojira · 10/07/2019 10:45

Our local secondary school uses this system and it's great. My DD uses it without any issue and when she leaves all the data will be permanently deleted. Most secondary schools are moving to this system as it stops pupils bringing in money daily (and makes it easier for the canteen) and there is is a top up machine in school for pupils to add cash to their account. I can always check how much money is on the lunch account and top it up but also see what is being bought.

There is nothing to worry about and I'm a very cautious person when it comes to data etc.

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adaline · 10/07/2019 10:45

It's been being used in schools for at least 15 years.

They don't take the entire fingerprint, just points from it and create a code from those points that's then tallied to each student. You can't recreate the fingerprint from the code.

Of course you have every right to refuse, but your child will just have to take a packed lunch.

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Sycamoretrees · 10/07/2019 10:48

I think you need to work out what's concerning you, because saying no on a whim is going to cause your DC a lot of inconvenience and they will need to understand why you have said no. It's a simple system, the student can't loose it or have it stolen, it's quick and convenient. They don't store the finger print it's self, just a complicated system of numbers generated from it.

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wellbuggerme · 10/07/2019 10:49

what I like about the fingerprint system is that I can log on to his parent pay account (I can either give him cash to top up his account in a machine at school or I can do it online from home) and I can see exactly what he`s bought from the canteen!

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FudgeBrownie2019 · 10/07/2019 10:51

DS1's high school uses this system and it's been great because it just cuts out the need to take cash to school.

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Lindellia · 10/07/2019 10:53

My dds’ school has this, but the fingerprint scanner also has a keypad, and those children whose parents didn’t consent are given a key code instead to sign in.

My main problem with it is the hygiene rather than the data protection side.

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Tadpoletofrog · 10/07/2019 10:56

It’s a very common system used without problems in all sorts of locations, not just schools. I’ve used a hand scanner to access where I work for the last 10 years.

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ChaoticEvil · 10/07/2019 10:56

I don't know why I am uncomfortable. I suppose mainly because I don't trust them to keep the data safe, and possibly I don't know enough about fingerprint technology to be comfortable with it.

The school don't have a great track record with keeping data safe - they left a load of files about students under the SENCO and their individual plans on the shared server where all the kids could access them, they accidentally posted the list of applications to the school on the website as well as a few other highly notable idiotic things.

Its not just for the catering, its also for getting in and out of the building so I suppose ultimately there isn't really any choice about the matter and pehaps its just something I need to get over.

I suppose its just his fingerprint will be with them forever, its not like a password or PIN which you can change, and once that information is stored somewhere its there.

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ChaoticEvil · 10/07/2019 10:59

See this is what I don't understand though. If don't store the fingerprint image just a load of numbers generated from it, how does it work when they scan the fingerprint?

Surely the fingerprint must be somewhere in order for it to be compared against something? otherwise how does the whole system work?

Its already a cashless system and has been for years (even when I was there 20 years ago). The cards are linked to parentpay, you can see everything they have brought for lunch on their anyway as they pay with the card. They have swipe things on the doors and you swipe your cards to get in. Same with the library - its all done with the cards, so I see no advantage to moving to a fingerprint, and thus that makes me suspicious and uncomfortable.

I accept IABU though :)

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adaline · 10/07/2019 11:03

Surely the fingerprint must be somewhere in order for it to be compared against something? otherwise how does the whole system work?

No, it's points from the fingerprint, not the fingerprint itself. You put your finger on the screen and it picks up certain points, which translate to a code, which is what registers on the system.

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pisspawpatrol · 10/07/2019 11:07

Hang on, have I slipped into a parallel world where fingerprint systems at schools are common knowledge? Literally never heard of this before this post.

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Disfordarkchocolate · 10/07/2019 11:09

I was a bit concerned but happy when I learned about how it actually works.

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averythinline · 10/07/2019 11:12

Cards get lost and can be stolen/used by bullies - which is why the fingerprint solution is better.... although the school data management does sound rubbish ......

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