Surveillance state: fingerprinting pupils raises safety and privacy concerns

More than a million students have handed over fingerprints to enhance security and ease admin but how safe is the data and what is it being used for?

School lunch lines in the UK can be fraught: students receiving free lunches may not want their peers to know, lost payment cards mean some go without, and code-based payments leave children at risk of “shoulder surfing”, where others spot their number and use it to buy their own meal.

Fingerprint scanners are being presented as one solution for doing away with this stress. They can be linked to online payments, making busy lunchtimes easier and faster, plus it will save schools from printing ID cards.

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More than a million students have handed over fingerprints to enhance security and ease admin but how safe is the data and what is it being used for?

School lunch lines in the UK can be fraught: students receiving free lunches may not want their peers to know, lost payment cards mean some go without, and code-based payments leave children at risk of “shoulder surfing”, where others spot their number and use it to buy their own meal.

Fingerprint scanners are being presented as one solution for doing away with this stress. They can be linked to online payments, making busy lunchtimes easier and faster, plus it will save schools from printing ID cards.

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