'Bristol schools letting in ID cards by the back door'
Bristol children should not have their thumbprints scanned when they take out library books – because it could lead to ID cards being let in through the back door.
That is the view of Liberal Democrat city councillor Mark Wright, who wants Bristol City Council to oppose the Government's plan to introduce compulsory ID cards.
The use of biometric technology is becoming more commonplace in schools, with children having their thumbprints scanned when they take out a book or buy a meal at the school canteen.
In Tuesday's full council meeting Mr Wright put forward a motion opposing ID cards, which included committing the council to opposing scanning in schools or for entry to pubs and clubs.
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The motion won majority backing, which Mr Wright says will make it difficult for the Government to pilot ID cards in Bristol.
"Recent data-loss disasters are a clear illustration of the real dangers of a big brother centralised state," he said.
"State control of personal identity details is a real threat to our security and civil liberties.
"The Government is attempting to normalise the use of ID cards by making them part of normal life of children, and also for adults going out for the night.
"The finger scanning of children and pub-goers is part of this. Our children should not be part of experiments designed to get people used to using ID cards."
Children use a system of encrypted numeric codes based on a finger's "ridge and whorl patterns" to pay for school meals at St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School.
Head teacher Elisabeth Gilpin told the Bristol Post: "The code is totally meaningless to any other system, or any other computer for that matter. Parents were fully consulted and those that attended the consultation meeting were very positive about it."