If they don't scan, they don't eat

The more I look into this story, the worse it gets.  We don't have to go to Britain for examples of child fingerprinting – just take a look at this email from a lady in Illinois:


My name is Joy and I am continuing to get the word out & tell this true story.

In August 2005, our public school district with less than 500 students decided to start using biometric equipment for “accounting purposes”.  We were told at registration to take our children over and have them scanned.  (There was not an opt out or opt in policy).

I objected and said no – our children are not to use this equipment -especially when there is not a policy to look over.

We were told, “if they don't scan ,they don't eat.”

I explained I believed that to against the law and the rights of the children as well as parental rights.  I was then told that this equipment would put Earlville, Illinois on the map (not like they thought).  A few days later I gave birth to our youngest daughter, on Aug 20, 2005, and explained to my husband that when I recovered I was going to discuss this matter with the district administration again.

Meanwhile my eldest children Brooke & Gunner were still brown bagging it.  Well, Sept 21, 2005 my 7 year old son was scanned anyway – even though he reminded the “tech director” that he was not to scan.

I of course called the school and started recieving excuses from the adminstrative staff.  I went to the local paper, the school board and still did not feel as if we were getting very far with our objection.  I then decided to write to Illinois legislators and the media.

Senator Miquel Del Valle introduced SB 2549 in Jan, 2006. CBN came to our town and interviewed us (as well as Senator Miquel Del Valle on a different date.)  The story aired Nov 7, 2006.  Then Senator Miguel Del Valle stepped down and took another position in Chicago. SB 2549-session sine die.

There I was again writing and calling the media and legislators.  In Jan,  2007 I was invited to speak with some privacy advocates and share this almost unbelievable story.  In Feb, 2007 two bills were introduced and are passing:  HB 1559,  introduced by State Rep Bob Pritchard; and SB 1702, introduced by Senator Kim Lightford.

I have several newspaper articles as well as letters from the Superintendant stating that my 7 yearr old son willingly gave up his finger.  Info about this story can also be found on EFFs deeplinks ,the Cato Institute,The End times and of course the CBN website.   As soon as I get updated on the bills I can notify you.   In the meantime I will continue to get the word out and search for advice on this matter .

I had my finger impression scanned for an Illinois licensure requirement, however I am a mother of five, over 30 and a private detective.

Not a minor child trying to by hot lunch at school.  We know that the data on these children can be sold, given away and anyone who knows how to write a FOIA can have access to this info. 

Joy Robinson-Van Gilder

Published by

Kim Cameron

Work on identity.

3 thoughts on “If they don't scan, they don't eat”

  1. I was aware of Joy's story and am heartened to see laws in place in Illinois with regard to parents and consent. Also I think Iowa have a bill and Michigan have laws/legal views on this (see my blog right hand side column for details and the Leave Them Kids alone website for more on this issue).

    Biometric technology is not like a TV remote control, mobile phone, PS2 – children need to discern when and where to use their biometrics and be made aware of their ownership of their biometric details and how to use it late in life. Unfortunately this is not happening at all in the UK and I suspect not in the US either..

    Consent should be sought from parents, but not in the form of a sales pitch letter, which has also been the case in the UK. Consent needs to be given only after accurate, impartial information is issued.

    Schools quite often fingerprint children without asking permission with some parents finding out years after the event (biometric systems in schools have been used now for 5-6 years). One school even told the parents that it had no legal obligation to seek consent so they were going fingerprint anyway – I suppose that's one way of letting us parents know.

    My two children 6 & 7 were nearly fingerprinted, but I spotted the scanner in the library so they were not scanned. Letter of consent were sent out which otherwise would not have happened.

    Our Parliament is now aware of the practice and it has been brought up this year in both the House of Commons and House of Lords but as schools manage their own budget no one knows how widespread the practice is.

    We have around 9 million school children in the UK, the States have about 48million – a huge potential market and with the data collection of statistics from schools by governments I can see why it appeals as a good collection tool in this respect – but not by stealth and without parental consent.

    Technology has bounded ahead of our UK laws and needs to be changed to accommodate for this emerging technology.

    Joy has done well achieving a change in the law – I know other parents in the UK and the US are looking at the Illinois laws and holding them up to our relevent departments to request the same rights as Illinois parents.

    I think raising awareness is the issue here as people are just not aware it is going on.

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