Fingerprinting, scanning in schools: Safety concern or Privacy violation

With today’s technological advances, where should the line be drawn? When is the use of identifying technology with minors more of an invasive hindrance than a helpful practice?

A school in Tallahassee, Florida continues to debate the legalities on performing biometric scans of students without parental permission. State lawmakers are set to review a proposal to ban the collection of physical identity characteristics (including fingerprints, hands, eyes and voice) to set firm policies on what is appropriate and necessary.

In the U.K. there are similar privacy concerns as millions of students are said to have been fingerprinted, some without receiving parental consent prior to the scan. Parents are hoping schools will be more transparent with the data collection and its uses, and for compliance with privacy protection guidelines.

Each side of this issue has valid points. With the potential threat of identity theft, are scans necessary for minors? Does the effort to streamline school processes, such as checking out library books or having a cashless cafeteria system, provide a greater overall value to the education experience?

What does the collection of this information, at such a young age, mean for the future of privacy and background checks?

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