February 4, 2014 -
Florida Senate Bill 188, which bans the collection of students’ biometric information, has passed its first committee today with unanimous support.
The bill bans the collection of biometric information of students and parents as well as providing for annual notification of their rights with respect to their education records. It will prevent the disclosure of any student or parent information to anyone except when required by law. The bill additionally establishes a process to assign a Florida student identification number to each student rather than using their social security number in order to identify the students records.
“The protection of students’ privacy rights while ensuring their safety is the focus of this legislation,” Senator Dorothy Hukill, who spearheaded the new bill said. “The collection of biometric information should not be viewed casually as this information is an individuals’ unique identity and is irreplaceable.”
SB 188 is now set to move on to its next committee for analysis.
Biometrics and schools have traditionally been a tenuous combination at best.
Reported previously, a separate Senate bill was recently tabled in Maryland that would also see the collection of biometric information from students banned. This includes, not only biometric registration but also participation in other biometric programs including options for purchasing lunch in school cafeterias.
Likewise, schools in England have been banned for collecting student biometric data without parental consent.
BiometricUpdate.com has looked at the controversy surrounding biometric programs in schools through the lens of school cafeterias. Read the full feature here.