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Cornish Pupils Fingerprints Kept

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7:01am 28th December 2013

It is revealed Cornish children are having their fingerprints stored not by the police, but by their school.

More than seven thousand in the Duchy have had their details scanned.

It's happening at secondaries from Helston to Wadebridge.

It is supposed to make it easier to take out a library book, register or pay for lunch.

Emma Carr from Big Brother Watch warns they have got to make sure they are sticking to the rules: "We're hearing increasingly from parents and teachers alike about concerns about use of both biometric systems and CCTV in schools. Systems and technology being put into schools that are able to monitor our children are on the increase so certainly the number of children doesn't surprise me.

"Now schools if they want to use these systems have to seek written permission from parents and also seek permission from the pupils themselves and interestingly if the pupil says no, even if the parent has said yes, that 'no' overrides the parents' 'yes'."

Duchy schools that use the technology have been defending it. Lorraine Hill is director of business and finance at Treviglas in Newquay: "We wanted to change to a cashless solution to ensure consistency in payment methods for all our students in addition having to take cash payments and give change slowed the process of serving our students their meals.

"It's not a fingerprint image that is stored but a mathematical code that's generated from marks and points on the finger. Our students are involved at every stage of the process and our Student Council was involved from the very beginning when we looked at a cashless solution.

"Once parents and students have been given full information about how the system works then any initial concerns disappear. There is always an alternative and we will always ensure that that remains the case."

7:01am 28th December 2013

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