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General Chat Thread, DfE/PFA 2012: "Parents given power of veto on schools’ use of biometric information" in General; DfE have finally pulled their fingers out and said something (two weeks after Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 gained royal ...
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    DfE/PFA 2012: "Parents given power of veto on schools’ use of biometric information"

    DfE have finally pulled their fingers out and said something (two weeks after Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 gained royal assent):

    Parents given power of veto on schools

    There is a link to consultation docs at the bottom of the page - this is about the DfE's draft advice (Annex A).

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    GrumbleDook (15th May 2012)

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Its all well and good doing that but Biometric helps schools so much with making things easier!

    Although when we rolled out ours we gave parents advanced warning on the system three kids parents (out of 1600 kids) complained about the use of the system and where issues swipe cards. Although we clearly stated that we didn't actually store a copy of the fingerprint we stored a digtal signature of it they didn't like that.

    One parent allowed the finger to be scanned after the third time of her daughter loosing her card and being sent another bill for a fiver to get a new one

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    Its all well and good doing that but Biometric helps schools so much with making things easier!
    Sorry, you missed the chance to have that argument. PFA 2012 is the new law and you'll need to be respecting it by 1st Sep 2013 (which is when it takes effect).

    There's also CCTV guidance that will eventually be made via PFA2012.

    Big Brother Watch are busy FOIing schools about use of both biometrics and CCTV right now.

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    Which is what this FoI currently circulating schools is about : http://www.edugeek.net/forums/behind...her-watch.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    Sorry, you missed the chance to have that argument. PFA 2012 is the new law and you'll need to be respecting it by 1st Sep 2013 (which is when it takes effect).

    There's also CCTV guidance that will eventually be made via PFA2012.

    Big Brother Watch are busy FOIing schools about use of both biometrics and CCTV right now.
    I don't mind about not having my Say. Already been there and done that and left education! But these people are probably the ones that would moan about peoples time being wasted doing pointless admin tasks...

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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    Which is what this FoI currently circulating schools is about
    Hadn't seen that thread but it's at a tangent to what matters. Having satisfied FoI law, if a school has biometrics I then suggest [you|whoever] reads that draft DfE guidance and if necessary send them a response.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo

    Hadn't seen that thread but it's at a tangent to what matters. Having satisfied FoI law, if a school has biometrics I then suggest [you|whoever] reads that draft DfE guidance and if necessary send them a response.
    The guidance is good for schools, but I think that there are a large number of questions to ask biometric providers... Especially around retention of selected data (eg keep the activity history but not the biometric information).

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    The guidance is good for schools, but I think that there are a large number of questions to ask biometric providers... Especially around retention of selected data (eg keep the activity history but not the biometric information).
    But one of the main Biometric providers (biostore) don't actually store any biometric information, they store a mathmatical representation of the finger print. So is that technically classed as storing biometrics? as at the end of the day its just a number

    Does Biostore record images of fingers?

    No. It is the policy of Biostore never to store images of fingers anywhere on their system. Only mathematical representations of certain points of interest are recorded, typically between ten and forty depending on the characteristics of the finger. This information is encrypted and is called a template. This data is extremely secure in its encrypted form but even if it were not encrypted it is impossible to recreate the original image of the finger from this data.

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    If the stored string is used to compare against a string generated by a 'reader' then yes, it is biometric information. The consultation documents do clearly cover what is meant by biometric data. If Biostore or others disagree then they should get involved in the consultation ... But it is likely to be too late as the act is pretty clear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    If the stored string is used to compare against a string generated by a 'reader' then yes, it is biometric information. The consultation documents do clearly cover what is meant by biometric data. If Biostore or others disagree then they should get involved in the consultation ... But it is likely to be too late as the act is pretty clear.
    fair enough - TBH i don't see a problem with storing my biometrics on that system - I left and i couldn't care less whether it gets deleted. They can't A: reverse it and B: use it in a court of law.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    But one of the main Biometric providers (biostore) don't actually store any biometric information, they store a mathmatical representation of the finger print. So is that technically classed as storing biometrics? as at the end of the day its just a number
    I guess you didn't read my dismissal of the same claim you made in the thread at the weekend when I said that is what they more or less all do and very definitely is "biometric information" according to PFA 2012.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    I guess you didn't read my dismissal of the same claim you made in the thread at the weekend when I said that is what they more or less all do and very definitely is "biometric information" according to PFA 2012.
    No I was in a pub and most probably ignored it (as i never read it/might of been touch drunk). But i do agree with the person below your comment saying that the law is rather stupid. i would be most Pi**ed off at the police for keeping your records even though you havn't done anything (like they have with me). A non reversible number is pointless including.

    According to that - saying somebody is 5ft 10" with brown hair a missing a finger is biometric information - you could easily pick somebody out from having that information (as the police do in a similar fashion with there line ups).

    The biostore doesn't match it exactly

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    The biostore doesn't match it exactly
    Simply not true and Biostore happens to be where I got some of the information we weren't getting from the DfE - they certainly know users of their fingerprint-based systems will be subject to PFA 2012 on 1st Sep 2013. You'll find an article about it on their news page.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    Simply not true and Biostore happens to be where I got some of the information we weren't getting from the DfE - they certainly know users of their fingerprint-based systems will be subject to PFA 2012 on 1st Sep 2013. You'll find an article about it on their news page.
    They may well still be applicable because as mentioned above the law has stupid clauses (which i have not said they won't at any point I just said I didn't agree with it)

    and Biostore does not match it exactly - it matches it to be close enough so that the likely hood of two children having the same rough pattern is minimal

    I will however withdraw this comment

    According to that - saying somebody is 5ft 10" with brown hair a missing a finger is biometric information - you could easily pick somebody out from having that information (as the police do in a similar fashion with there line ups).
    as having re-read the quote as I previously missed reading the "and" from the end of 2 A.

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    The reason why PFA2012 is written / structure in the way that it is really does make sure that the digital nature of storage of identifying personal information is dealt with. The store itself does not have to be an exact duplicate of the real world data, or even be directly extractable to form a duplicate to the real world data, but can simply be used in a matching / comparison process ... because that is how the technology tends to work.

    Biostore are well and truly covered.

    I do have queries about social networking sites which include facial recognition ... because the guidance which is under consultation does make it clear that although the school itself might not be running the technology / system locally but if they provide a solution or insist a child uses a solution which holds biometric information then it is covered under the act.

    This will be one of my questions under the consultation but I just need to work out the wording properly.

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