Opinion: with Ellenbrook Secondary College bringing in fingerprint scanning, how far is too far in the name of safety?

Stock image.
Stock image.

AN Ellenbrook school has brought in biometric fingerprint scanning for students.

I’m a parent of three children myself and this concept makes me deeply uncomfortable.

Firstly, some parents claim they did not give permission for their children to be scanned.

With children unaware of privacy issues, identity theft and unable to sign a contract, this seems like a failure on the school’s part.

Secondly, where are the assurances from the school that fingerprints will be protected?

What if the police suspect a student has been breaking the law?

Will the school give the student’s details to police and allow them to be used in a criminal investigation?

There is an argument that Apple and smart phones are already using this tech.

However, we have seen Apple and other tech giants defy governments and refuse to release these details.

Apple boss Tim Cook said the company was protecting civil liberties when it defied the FBI and refused to unlock an iPhone used by a terrorist.

We know Apple will protect our information at the risk of losing customers.

Who is to say schools will go to the same lengths to protect the information of their students?

Schools have nothing to lose by giving out this information.

Thirdly, this takes away a high school right of passage – wagging school.

Most of us have done it at least once; taken off for a day at the beach or the movies without our parents or teachers knowing.

While Community News does not condone students deliberately missing school, these wagged days stand out in my memory as some of the best times of my high school experience.

Black Mirror on Netflix explores some of the consequences technology could have on society.

The episode Arkangel shows the unintended consequences of monitoring children.

How much farther will we go to spy on our children and invade their privacy in the name of keeping them safe?

These are all issues that I’m sure as parents we will need to explore more in the future – and technology like biometric fingerprint scanning will bring that to the forefront as time goes on.

MORE: Perth Train Station: fires lit overnight

MORE: Girrawheen: youths smash car windows, attack men

MORE: Mundaring’s Little Caesars Pizzeria to close