Schools in England to be banned from collecting pupil biometrics without parental consent

December 27, 2012 - 

Schools in England will be banned from collecting students’ biometric data without parental consent starting in September 2013, according to a report by York Press.

According to York Press, this new ban marks the first time parents will have the power to stop schools from using their child’s biometric data. Schools will need to be granted permission by parents before taking fingerprints, iris and retina scanning, and photographs for facial recognition.

The Department of Education says that 30 percent of secondary schools and five percent of primary schools in the country use fingerprinting or facial recognition to record attendance, enable students to borrow library books, pay for lunch or access certain buildings within the school system.

“Many parents do not want schools and colleges collecting personal information from their children without permission,” Schools Minister David Laws told York Press.

This news comes as earlier this month the Biometrics Institute called for caution in widening access to the National Pupil Database, as proposed by the UK government. As reported previously in, the government’s proposal would allow the private sector and other previously excluded groups to access the national database.

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About Adam Vrankulj

Adam Vrankulj is an editor for His background consists of online news writing, editing and content marketing. Adam has written for, BlogTO and was the editor and curator for the nextMEDIA and CIX Source publications. He has a degree in journalism and is passionate about science, technology and social innovation. Contact Adam, or follow him at @adamvrankulj