Parents concerned at unauthorised fingerprinting of school pupils

Jo has expressed concern over the unauthorised fingerprinting of children at Turnbull High School.

Secondary schools in East Dunbartonshire have recently implemented a new cashless system whereby children can either use a PIN number, Smartcard or a fingerprinting system, rather than cash, to pay for items. Parents are concerned that CRB Solutions, the company contracted to operate the scheme, fingerprinted some children despite their parents asking for the Smartcard or PIN number option instead.

The mistakes occurred because in some cases CRB Solutions relied on the children to tell them which method their parents had chosen, rather than referring to the consent forms sent by parents. After a number of children’s fingerprints were recorded in error and complaints were made by parents, CRB Solutions deleted those children’s fingerprint scans. However, parents who complained are concerned that this should not have been allowed to happen, and that the company’s mistake has not been communicated to other parents.

Commenting, Jo said:

“It is concerning that the new cashless system has not been handled in line with parents’ wishes at Turnbull High School. If parents have decided they do not want their children to use the fingerprinting method, it should be up to the operator rather than the children to ensure this happens. This is clearly a sensitive issue, and I am urging the Council to check that this has not happened at other schools as well as Turnbull.

“The Council must provide cast iron guarantees that the data of the children in question has been removed from the company’s records, and I am calling on them to put pressure on CRB Solutions to run their own check on this data. They must make sure that no other children whose parents have opted out of the fingerprinting system have had their fingerprints taken, and contact the parents of all the children in question to confirm that their data is no longer being stored.”

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