Friday, 25 April 2008

Fingerprinting to speed up school meals

Who was aware that school meals were a such problem that taking children's fingerprints "should significantly speed up queues ". So how much time would be "saved" ? And to what use would it be put ? Would it be used for learning ? More leisure time for teachers ? Chill out time for pupils ? Kitchen staff ? The letter from the Principal did not make this clear.

The letter went on:

".. Instead of using cards to recognise a pupil and activate their account, pupils' fingerprints are scanned, converted into digital data and recorded. The image of the print itself is not recorded and cannot be regenerated from the digital data, which means it cannot be compared to any existing fingerprint records. "

The assertion that the print cannot be regenerated from the digital data is simply untrue and also misleading. All of the actual print is not recorded because it doesn't have to be. Only the salient points of the prints are needed to create a unique record. This is called a template. Something like a contour map which gives only the high points of a landscape.

In fact the digital record is the print. As such it is a unique record personal to each individual-stored on a computer as a binary number. It is a unique identifier.

Computers can be hacked, compromised, stolen. Identity theft can follow from that.

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