O’Farrell backs school fingerprinting
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has backed the right of schools to use fingerprint scanners to track whether kids are skipping class.
Several public schools are using hi-tech scanners to record when students enter and leave school across the state.
“I think that’s a good thing because it reflects our policy of `local schools, local decisions’, which enables schools to make decisions that meet the needs of their communities,” Mr O’Farrell told reporters.
Asked whether he had any privacy concerns, the premier said the decision to use the technology was ultimately a matter for individual schools.
“If school communities want to make decisions, whether about the opening hours of schools or whether about these sorts of issues, I’m happy to back them,” Mr O’Farrell said.
Civil Liberties Australia have concerns over fingerprint scanning students.
“We support proper use of new technology, but this development has inherent dangers which should be evaluated by schools, their governing bodies and parents,” Civil Liberties Australia CEO Bill Rowlings said.
“Schools and education authorities must put robust rules in place for how technology is used and administered, and the data safeguarded.
“A scan on arrival just tells you who passed through the school gates on the way in.
“The only way to ensure a child is at school all day is to fingerprint the student every half hour.
“So pretty soon children will be scanned into every classroom, every separate facility within the school grounds.
“If that is done, suddenly schools will become mini-surveillance states.”