With biometric technology, RFID and the Internet of Things being rolled out in schools, the next generation is familiarized to these technologies with little regard to fully understanding the consequences of mass data sharing. Educational databases are some of the richest datasets in the world.
Increasingly government agencies and corporations gather biometric data, covertly and overtly from us – this, coupled with our use of radio frequency devices, reveals ever more data about us, with immense potential for profiling and predictive behaviour modelling to be executed upon us without our knowledge.
With the perceived benefits these technologies bring, they also have the capacity to erode our privacy and civil liberties. We may be the last generation that truly experiences what privacy is.
Pippa King is a campaigner for children’s rights after her children were nearly fingerprinted in school, without her consent, in 2005, for a library system. With other parents she lobbied parliament for transparency regarding biometric technology in education. This resulted in part of the Protection of Freedom Act 2012 covering parental and children’s consent and their rights to refuse to use biometric technology in schools.
She is a regular blogger on biometrics and RFID in education, and on wider state surveillance. Through her research she has advised various government committees, initiated written questions in parliament, with interviews and quotes featured by the BBC, The Times and The Guardian.