Sunday Herald | Oct 13, 2007 

By Adam Forrest

ALMOST HALF of all local authorities in Scotland have schools using fingerprint or palm-print machines to record the identity of pupils.

A Sunday Herald survey revealed the speed at which biometric systems have spread since a palmprint reader was piloted at a Paisley primary school just one year ago. Since then, 14 educational authorities have introduced biometric identification, with at least two others planning to put such systems in place.

The technology is currently used to record information about library accounts and register pupils' school meal status in the hope that anonymity will help tackle the stigma of free school dinners. Despite fears that such systems are eroding civil liberties by creating unnecessary banks of identity data, experts believe "kiddyprinting" will continue to expand in the near future.

Alan Cunningham, of Yarg Biometrics, the Scottish company which introduced palm-vein scanners in cafeterias, believes new projects could soon place biometric systems at the school gates.

He said: "It is possible to have a secure access system at the door that would register pupils, and could send an automatic text message to parents to let them know if children attended school that day."

Parents across the UK, concerned about such a future, have formed the campaign group Leave Them Kids Alone. Spokesman David Coulter said: "Schools are not the right place to hold this kind of sensitive data.

"There isn't sufficient protection in place. The (UK) government is failing in its duty to uphold children's rights, to protect their most precious commodity, their future identity."

The private firm Amey is now presenting biometric systems as part of its pitch for all new school building contracts. The company was keen to assure parents in Renfrewshire, where 11 more schools are set to adopt palm readers, that the technology was safe and data could not be stolen or misused.

Grant Henderson, Amey's director of education, said: "The parents of all children who use the palm-vein scanner are fully aware of the system and have given permission for the children to use them. This information is retained only on our local secure server and is not shared with any external bodies."

A Renfrewshire Council spokesman added: "The experience we've had so far has been positive, with support from staff, parents and pupils."

Coulter rejected the argument that data could not be compiled on any national database at a later date. "All these systems are potentially compatible. If someone has access to biometric data, we don't know how it could be used in 10 years' time."

Patrick Harvie MSP, who raised questions about the implications of school fingerprinting in the Scottish parliament last year, is concerned its rapid spread its sending the wrong message to young people.

"They could impinge directly on civil liberties, but in a wider sense, they seem to be preparing young people to surrender their biometric data. We should be teaching children to be very careful about protecting their identity."

The Green Party MSP also said previous proposals about the introduction of scanners, CCTV, compulsory ID cards and random drug testing in schools were a worrying indication of a shift in educational ethos. "It feels like an environment where pupils are being policed, rather than the nurturing, learning atmosphere we should be creating."

Amid concern that some schools had not properly consulted parents on finger and palmprinting, the information commissioner recently issued best-practice guidelines on gaining the consent of both young children and their parents. The Data Protection Act, however, does not prevent school fingerprinting without parental consent, and campaigners are angry that students over 12 are deemed mature enough to make up their own minds.

Yarg's Alan Cunningham said only appropriate biometric systems would be introduced in schools, but predicted a boom in the widespread use of the security scanning technology.

"Secure access is the biggest market for biometric systems. Down the line, in the next three to five years, biometrics will be used in bank cards. In the next five years, we'll see an explosion in where biometrics are used."

RLCC Comment: How artificial, how contrived, do human beings want to become? Is transhumanism the goal? Is the plan to move through cyborg stages to wholly synthetic beingness? Is humanity to be technologically neurally networked with no thoughts being one's own apart from the network's superuser? Who will be trusted to be this demigod? Who will not abuse it? We are already looking at the involuntariness of these systems that are coming at an accelerating rate. If one refuses, one will be left to starve outside the system that will deny anyone land on which to grow food or to do anything else. The capitalists are closing in on monopolizing and privatizing the entire planet. Real Christians need Christian Commons all over the place to displace this polluted direction in which the false-hearted ones are headed.

Originally by pjwalker911 from Aftermath News on October 13, 2007, 4:33am


The following should appear at the end of every post:

According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":

Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.

Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.

Political Campaign Intervention

Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.

Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.

Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:

  • Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
  • Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
  • Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
  • Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
  • Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office

Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:

  • The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
  • Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
  • We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
  • When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
  • It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
  • We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
  • We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
  • When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
  • We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
  • It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.

And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)

  • Subscribe

  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
    This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
    • peter

      the use of biometrics will only see us putting at risk our fingers as these will be chopped off by criminals to get to our money it as simple as that. so think twice about it ,because this will happen.

    • @peter -

      It is huge so-called political misuses that most concern me. That's criminal too, and they don't need to cut off fingers to make lives miserable.

      Of course, you are right that there are people despicable enough to take an innocent person's finger to get at his or her money.

      It's a sad truth.

      What we need is a universal change of heart.

      We need universal repentance and atonement or things will just keep getting worse and worse.

      Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

      Tom Usher