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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:55 pm
Posts: 103
Hi, not quite sure I have put this post in the correct area of the forum :/ ?
I did do a search on Biometrics in the search bar within the forum, but found no results.
As SCD is within the Hertfordshire 11 plus region, I thought that this area of the forum may be suitable for posting this message.
I do hope that this will be allowed as I really need some input / help with regard to the following:
I would appreciate anyone's response to the topic of St Clement Danes and biometrics please.
I would appreciate hearing from anyone who:
1. opted IN
2. opted OUT
3. has any views on the subject of SCD and the recent introduction of biometrics within the school
4. has any experience of biometrics (whether within a school or elsewhere)
5. has any info in general on biometrics

Please be assured that if you reply I will not pass your views on to anyone else - I just need some support for personal reasons with regard to this issue.
I do have a particular reason for wanting to talk to people about this, but do not want to post my reasons up publicly at the present time.

Hopefully, someone will respond, fingers crossed.
Thank you for reading.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm
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Location: london
Hi, sorry for being dim but it might help if you explain what biometrics are and in what context SCD are using them?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:45 pm 
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is this to do with the finger / thunb print scans used for the library and paying for din dins?

yes both kids do this at their respective GSs - parents all got het up about it initially - kids were quite chilled and it seems to work fine


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:55 pm 
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mad? wrote:
Hi, sorry for being dim but it might help if you explain what biometrics are and in what context SCD are using them?


Oops ... sorry :) (You're not dim)

The school asked for written consent from parents to take an image of the students' fingerprint, which they then apparently turn into an alpha-numeric code. The parents were informed that the original fingerprint could/would be destroyed. We were also informed that at lunchtime, the students would then just put their finger in a "hamster" (device which would read the individual student's finger image) so that the students could buy their lunch whilst at school. It was stated that the purpose of this was just with regard to food / drink to make it easier for the students, and to save parents having to replace lost/broken swipe cards (which are currently being used by the students to buy their lunch), plus also so that the students could go to a machine to top up or check their balance by placing their finger in the "hamster", ie. we, the parents, were informed in writing that the biometrics would be used for food/drink related things.
Hope I am explaining this OK.

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Last edited by *** CONFUSED !!! *** on Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:00 pm 
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hermanmunster wrote:
is this to do with the finger / thunb print scans used for the library and paying for din dins?

yes both kids do this at their respective GSs - parents all got het up about it initially - kids were quite chilled and it seems to work fine



Thanks for your input. Just curious ......
1. Did you get the option to opt out ?
2. Were the parents pressurised to consent?
3. Were the students pressurised regarding the biometrics?
4. Were you provided written literature about it before you made your decision?
5. How long did you have to think about whether you wanted to consent or not?
6. Can you opt out in the future if you choose to?
7. Do you happen to know why the other parents were het up about it .......
a. what were their objections / worries / concerns
b. did someone try to reassure those who were worried
8. So far, has the biometrics just been used for what the school stated in writing it would be used for, or have the school used it for other purposes too?

Hope you don't mind me asking the questions.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:16 pm 
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Crumbs this is going to sound dozey.. :oops:
Can't really remember as it was quite a while ago - North Yorks obviously ahead of the game :lol: thinking about it, it was the boys school who got het up - the lads, not the parents - all calmed down in the end. TBH I think it was more to do with the cashless catering side of things and the parents being able to tell what the kids had had to eat! :wink: Am pretty sure that they had been borrowing books in the library on thumb print for quite some time before the cashless catering side happened.

- presumably there was and opt out - but not sure what they would do with those kids!!.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:29 pm
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Location: Trafford
They've been using the thumb in my bit of the north too for several years.

There was a lot of information provided prior to the introduction of the system and lots of reassurance about how the data would be encrypted and destroyed once your child left school. You did get the chance to opt out. Rebels get the plastic card which costs something like £5 to replace if it gets lost/broken. You can choose to opt out after the event, but I doubt many do. I think there are 1 or 2 kids in each of my children's classes who have the card and no-one seems bothered at all except for the catering staff who quite like the cards, apparently, because the thumb reading machine is sometimes a bit temperamental.

People who didn't opt in seemed to be concerned about data protection issues and Big Brother (in the Orwellian sense rather than the Channel 5 sense) and obviously have children who do not break/lose their swipe cards every three weeks. :roll:

I can't get too excited about it really. It makes life easy for everyone. They can't forget their thumb.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:14 pm
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Location: essex
My son and daughter both use this for food and I think daughter does in the library. I must be a very bad mother as it did not even occur to me to try to opt out, I think it is brilliant. You can't lose a finger.

What are the potential problems then ?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:46 pm 
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Location: london
marigold wrote:
My son and daughter both use this for food and I think daughter does in the library. I must be a very bad mother as it did not even occur to me to try to opt out, I think it is brilliant. You can't lose a finger.

What are the potential problems then ?


Ditto, for entry onto site and everything else brilliant. No objections when it came in. An end to all those lost cards etc. I imagine it is a problem for those whose DC were used to sneaking out for a fag or worse and they have probably objected by conjuring up some libertarian nonsense. However, for those who want their DC safe and behaving, works fine.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:52 pm 
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yep - I think there is a great advantage in the finger being permanent ly attached to child, brought in from home every day and not able to be borrowed by anyone else ..


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