Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts tagged UK

fingerprint

Pupils at Redhill School in Stourbridge, United Kingdom are set to have their fingerprints taken. The schools say the controversial technology is part of a cashless system throughout the school and is necessary to reduce queues and monitor pupils’ diets.

The 1,200-pupil school in Junction Road detailed its plans in a letter to parents last month. Headteacher Stephen Dunster said the scheme was part of a long-term plan to allow parents to pay for any school related fees over the internet.

He said: “We are aiming to have a cashless system throughout the school. The catering system is better for parents because they don’t have to provide children with lunch money every morning. From our perspective it is far more efficient as it reduces waiting times.”

“We will also be able to monitor what children are buying to make sure they are eating a healthy diet.”

Just because a student takes an orange to eat for lunch does not mean the student eats that orange. You can force children to take healthy foods at lunch, but you can’t make them eat it.

Around half of Dudley’s secondary schools use some form of biometric system. But its use has come under fire from civil liberties campaigners, who fear the information could be stored on school databases. Mr Dunster added: “We don’t hold fingerprints on file. This is about using technology to benefit our pupils and parents.”

If the fingerprints are not held on file, who has them? Who has access to these fingerprints and how secure are they?

More at the Express and Star.

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text driving

Drivers in the UK are now going to be assumed guilty of using their cell phones in crashes just because they have them on their person.

Drivers involved in crashes will have their mobile phone seized as part of police crackdown aimed at cutting the number of deaths caused by calling and texting at the wheel.

Officers will check all phones for evidence that motorists broke the law by allowing themselves to be distracted by their hand-held device.

New guidance issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers instructs officers to check the phones of all drivers.

This sets a dangerous precedent. Once people are accustomed to this policy, it will change to a broader sense where anyone being pulled over can have their phones checked.

A phone contains private information that will automatically become public once the information is confiscated by the police. What if the person is a doctor, lawyer, child welfare advocate, etc?

If the police suspect texting/talking while driving, a simple subpoena to the phone company would reveal this information. Prying into personal lives isn’t going to stop this behavior.

Photo credit.

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From Open Rights Group:

Around 70 people attended our PRISM and Tempora event in Parliament last Thursday, hosted by Tom Watson MP. The speakers, Caspar Bowden, Simon McKay and David Davis MP, helped give context to some of the recent claims on surveillance made by the government.

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Last year, the police in the city of Leicester tested the practical use of a body CCTV camera. It proved to be successful for the police, so they are now rolling out the cameras to all police across the United Kingdom.

The cameras, which have in-built night vision, have already proved to be invaluable in a number of situations faced by the police, including dealing with domestic violence incidents and identifying offenders in large groups.

Police wear the cameras on the front of their stab vests and after attending an incident download the footage captured onto a computer where if needs be it can be transferred onto a DVD to be presented as evidence in court.

The technology has an advantage over pole-mounted CCTV cameras as it allows officers to film an incident at street level, as they see it, the force also believes the cameras will deter troublemakers from squaring up to officers or making false allegations against them.

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