We’ve heard all kinds of reasons for the growing trend towards taking children’s fingerprints for use in school registration, libraries and canteens, most of them pragmatic ones such as speed and convenience.
This one, however, is in a class of its own:
Chris Bridge, head teacher at Huntington Secondary, said the system was preparing pupils for a world in which terrorism was rife, and their privacy would be further invaded.
He said: “These children, frankly, are growing up in a world where identity and being certain about your own identity is increasingly important.
“All the measures to do with ID cards will possibly invade their privacy even further, but the world has no answer to terrorism without using these things and I would see us as getting them ready for the world in which they will have to live.”
Update 9th January: Pippa’s blog says that China (China!) has stopped fingerprinting children on human rights grounds:
Shanghai’s Shixi Primary School was forced to scrap a fingerprint monitoring system for students last year in the wake of widespread criticism over students’ privacy rights.