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back to article Pressure group: perverts will use tech to track your kids

A pressure group has warned of worsening threats to children's rights in the UK from biometric and tracking technologies. ARCH, Action on Rights for Children, is a not-for-profit organisation run by a group of concerned citizens, including a Professor of Childhood Studies and the borough citizenship coordinator for Tower Hamlets …

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Biometrics: the fatal flaw

Lifetime biometrics are useless for identifying people simply because they will inevitably get compromised at some point and cannot be "fixed" thereafter. The more widely you deploy such systems, the sooner they will all become useless. Perhaps the UK Home Office should consider this point before rolling out ID cards.

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Alert

Jesus H Christ on a bike!

These "Won't somebody think of the children!" types really get on my t*ts. Wish they would shut the hell up!

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Huh?

"These "Won't somebody think of the children!" types really get on my tits." (I put the 'i' back in for you).

Sorry, *which* ones get on your tits? The ones saying we should track them everywhere and have them give a DNA sample just to buy lunch, or the ones who think this is a foolish idea?

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WTF is this reporter mumbling about?

I love el-reg, its the techies gospel! but when you write crap like this, I can't help but feel your dropping to the depths of the daily fantasy-comic red-top new papers.

Startling headlines "Pressure group: perverts will use tech to track your kids"

F*ck, get a reality check, your article doesn't have any relevance to this title, and in actual fact, god help me for saying this, for the first time ever, I actually agree with what ARCH is trying to achieve - we are becoming a surveillance state, all that stockpiled data will be stored and you can gaurantee some "well meaning" man in whitehall will decide that data is useful for other things at some later date and then go even further - the DNA database was only meant to be for "convicted criminals", that later changed to people who have been arrested and now we see calls for it to be made compulsory for everybody to be on it.

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@Jesus H Christ on a bike!

Eh, I think these guys are the anti-"Won't somebody think of the children!" types. Could be I'm wrong but I don't think so.

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Gates Halo

I dont see the problem!

If you give a kid to remember a library card, some will lose it, some will forget it and others will "borrow" someone else’s. Fingerprint readers in the school library are cheap, efficient and idea for saving money and making sure kids don’t lose books and forget their responsibilities to bring the books back. I remember saying when I lost a school book “I didn’t take it out” I wouldn’t have been able to say that if I had used my finger to take the thing out in the first place.

If we’re talking about using finger prints in the classroom, then doesn’t it protect the kid? I.e. if the teach is incompetent and doesn’t know the kids names, knowing a kid is who they claim to be (not covering for a mate) if going to protect everyone, including the kid.

Save with school means.

The whole argument against fingerprints in schools is based on the same principles that mobile phone masts kill. It’s called scaremongering.

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Flame

All schools are obviously run by fascists

Does Lewis Page also write for the Daily Mail???

"...children are already subject to a fairly intrusive degree of monitoring..."

WTF? Making sure that they attend class? Blimey, best get Amnesty International on the case - maybe get some of the teachers locked up for crimes against humanity.

The world's gone mad...

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@Think of the Children

ARCH don't always get it right. Some of the conclusions they draw are a little over the top and melodramatic, but it doesn't take away the fact that fingerprinting four year olds to register or buy lunch or borrow a library book is wrong. (and a little sinister if you ask me!!)

What the reporter failed to mention in his article is that government advice on fingerprinting is that schools should consult with parents before implementing systems. The reality is that parents have rarely been consulted.

Welcome to Britain kids, now sign over your identity!

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Unhappy

@Anonymous Coward

I think you will find that ARCH have a track record of defending the rights of children sometimes in direct opposition to the "Think of the Children" idiot types.

If you read the report in full, it sensibly points out that relying on technology to track a child's location is no substitute for proper supervision and that the availability of tracking data is just one possible threat to safety. All such a device does is tell you where the <device> is, not the child.

As for Biometrics, this quote sums things up nicely:

"If I wanted to create a surveillance society, I would start by creating dossiers on kindergarten children so that the next generation could not comprehend a world without surveillance."

- Andre Bacard, author of 'The Computer Privacy Handbook'

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Absolutely

If you have nothing to hide you don't have children.

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NRT

Tracking

You don't need to track children with high tech gadgets.

All you need to do is nail their feet to the floor!

Sorry.

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The wider picture

Never mind abduction by strangers; never mind largely-illusory perverts tracking jailbait; never mind fraudulent free school dinners; never mind lost library books; never mind whether or not this particular story is merely Daily Mail hysteria.

The issue, as Andy Taylor points out above, is one of the increasing (careless or sinister depending on your viewpoint) over-use of surveillance.

Read that Andre Bacard quote again - "If I wanted to create a surveillance society, I would start by creating dossiers on kindergarten children so that the next generation could not comprehend a world without surveillance."

We are conditioning children (well, not just children actually) to accept intrusion into every aspect of daily life - everything from tagging to RFID, CCTV on every corner to ID cards, numberplate recognition to 28 days' detention without charge. We are sleepwalking into a police state and fingerprinting children is a symptom of that.

The only thing Orwell got wrong in 1984 was the date. Winston Smith's world wasn't with us until c2010

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Re: Sceptical B****

Spot on.

And those 'nothing to hide, nothing to fear' morons don't worry, the scientists wil soon be able to grow a brain for you (probably from a hybrid chimera thing developed from a cow's arse)...

What, scaremongering? The government has just lost the confidential details of 15 million (yes MILLION) people for child benefit....and we're meant to be confident that these clowns are responsible for protecting our personal electronic information?

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Anonymous Coward

Survellance society

Avoiding the above is a full-time job. I can't do much about the CCTVs on every corner, but, for instance, I don't use a store card and I only use a credit/debit card to get cash to pay for my meagre consumables...

And you won't find me on Facebook!

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@Sceptical b*stard

How exactly are we 'accepting intrusion'?

I drive to work in a fully taxed and tested car. If numberplate recognition is doing something to take off the road any untaxed or untested cars or uninsured drivers, that benefits EVERYBODY law abiding. I'm less likely to be hit by an uninsured driver, and there will be less congestion on our roads if tax dodgers have their cars taken away and crushed.

Same with CCTV. If I'm unfortunate to be in an area where a crime is comitted and I match the profile of the suspect, I am glad to be able to rely on CCTV to further prove my innocence.

It's only a police state if you're up to no good. I for one welcome such 'intrusion'

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@ andy gibson

So when we have a national DNA database and you are either mis-matched as being at the scene of a crime or someone picks up a fag butt you discarded and leaves it at the scene (example only used to make point), you'll welcome it?

Or when they come and arrest you because a car used in a crime had your cloned number plates on an identical type of car, you'll be smiling?...

Or the debt collectors come calling due to unpaid parking tickets / fines for the same scenario as above..

Aside from all the privacy issues, the law of unintended consequences is going to be interesting.

'It's only a police state if you're up to no good'

And finally, i'm sick of the inference that i have 'something to hide' because i disagree with these intrusions.

Who has the right to make such pronouncements?... Self righteous twats.

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@ElFatbob

With you all the way on that one. The survellance we have to day is great so long as very on plays by the rules. And the chances everyone is going to do that are zero. If the system is error free, if there is nobody trying to game the system, if the staff are all fully trained well paid and highly motivated and ethical then we have no worries.

But if you have faith in the system go talk to Shirley McKie. Ask her about fingerprints

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Children, schools and education

Just a reminder that in England it is not illegal not to send your childern to school - only not to give them an education. (If they are already at a school, the local authority needs to be formally notified that you will be educating them yourself before you withdraw them). In practice it is simple to satisfy the criteria for giving them an education - most parents/guardians will far exceed the requirements anyway.

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Re: I dont see the problem!

"If you give a kid to remember a library card, some will lose it, some will forget it and others will "borrow" someone else’s. Fingerprint readers in the school library are cheap, efficient and idea for saving money and making sure kids don’t lose books and forget their responsibilities to bring the books back. I remember saying when I lost a school book 'I didn’t take it out' I wouldn’t have been able to say that if I had used my finger to take the thing out in the first place."

How about teaching a child to admit he lost a book? You know, it's something to do with being responsible for your actions and learning how to accept responsibility.

"If we’re talking about using finger prints in the classroom, then doesn’t it protect the kid? I.e. if the teach is incompetent and doesn’t know the kids names, knowing a kid is who they claim to be (not covering for a mate) if going to protect everyone, including the kid."

And that will make the incompetent teacher teach them better?

"The whole argument against fingerprints in schools is based on the same principles that mobile phone masts kill. It’s called scaremongering."

No, this argument is clearly and rightfully based on the assumption that control won't make society better.

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Stop

Who do you trust...?

The Government has just admitted that two disks of Benefits Claimants' details have gone missing, something that could affect half the country's population.

And they expect us to *trust* them with systems like the ones in this article?

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@ Andy Gibson

You are either extremely trusting, extremely naive or just extremely unthinking.

The "only the guilty have anything to fear" argument is patently specious. It is from the litany of scaremongering self-righteousness peddled by the likes of the Daily Mail.

Self-evidently, the innocent have nothing to fear ONLY if nobody ever abused the system (there are crooks even in the civil service and police force); and nobody ever made mistakes within the system (like losing 25 million personal records); and there was never any incompetence or malevolence or maladministration by those administering the law (ranging from vindictive parking wardens to miscarriages of justice by judges and prosecutors). And, of course, that you never made any mistakes either.

Not to mention the entirely innocent fear - or distaste for - being constantly spied upon.

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