Sydney High School Installs Fingerprint Scanners in Toilets

The following article from TOTT News

A Sydney high school’s decision to install fingerprint scanners at the entrance to toilets has attracted controversy, blasted by privacy experts as “unreasonable and disproportionate”.

Moorebank High School’s strange solution to ‘curb vandalism’ in toilets has been to install fingerprint scanning technology at the entrances to track student movements and locations.

The radical decision to implement a “fingerprint data collection system” came after one particular toilet block was targeted by ‘poo vandals’, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage.

“Often, there’s been cases where people have thrown their poo on the ceiling,” high school student Daniel Scutella described to reporters, telling the press the facilities were often so disgusting he would regularly opt to wait until arriving home to use the toilet.

Yes, we are not making this up.

A bit of vandalism, for which cleaners are employed to take care of, now warrants fingerprint scanners.

Cybersecurity experts have blasted the high school for requiring students to submit biometric data.

Program lead of Digital Rights Watch, Samantha Floreani, says that despite the school’s intentions, the implementation of fingerprint scanners was an invasion of student privacy.

“If there were to be a data breach, for example — if the information was to be accessed by someone who’s not authorised, or if there was a leak, or if there was a hack — then suddenly you’ve got a student fingerprint being accessed by people who shouldn’t have access to that information,” Floreani said.

“Students should have the right to go to the bathroom without having their biometric information collected, and their movements constantly monitored,” Floreani said.

In response, the school says they consulted with parent groups about the construction of fingerprint scanners, telling them that the measures would “help reduce the instances of vandalism and eventually allow the school to use the savings to upgrade the toilet block”.

This type of move does indeed create all kinds of risks for those students.

For example, identity fraud, or the possibility of potentially being linked with other kinds of information.

A spokesperson from the Department of Education has confirmed that the fingerprint scanners are ‘not mandatory’, yet almost one thousand students have submitted their biometric data to use the toilets.

Sadly, this is yet another example of the creeping biometric world that is threatening school privacy.


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