Friday 12 June 2009

An abuse of power

A fellow Twitterer JANE LAMBERT.
barrister specializing in intellectual property, technology, media and entertainment and competition law has brought to my attention a scandalous action against a member of the circuit at Strangeways, Here can be found her blog of the arrest and detention of a senior legal practitioner at
This case merit complaint of general protest from the Legal profession.

Tuesday 9 June 2009

Finger print for 'Catering improvement'

•       As part of an ongoing Catering improvement programme for the 2009 academic year we are planning a few changes. This communication is designed to explain these changes.

•       We currently use swipe cards as the middle and high school lunch payment method, and although this system does have is benefits; it also has its limitations.  Students often forget and/or lose these cards. This can sometimes result in long queues and bottlenecks.

•       To improve efficiency and speed at the tills we are planning to introduce a biometric thumb print recognition for all students in Grade 5 and above.

➢       This means that we will register the students by taking a simple scan of their thumbprint; this will allow them to pass through the pay points quickly, securely and without having to remember cash or a swipe card.
➢       This lunch payment technology is already used successfully in schools across the UK.
➢       We will retain our existing food court tills, the students will simply need to have their thumbs quickly ‘scanned’ to providepayment.

How is this being introduced?

•       We have just completed a successful three - week trail of the system with our dormitory students. The next step will be to register the remaining students. This will be performed by Catering staff at a designated registration help desk in the cafetorium during the week commencing April 27th 2009.

•       Lower School students will not be included in this scheme at this juncture.

•       All NEW 2009/10  Middle & High School students will be registered on the system during the Orientation day in August.

•       A very small percentage of students will have thumbs that are not possible to scan or they may prefer not to have their thumb’s digital signature recorded. These students can be issued swipe cards which also work on the tills as an alternative to the biometric system.

•       ALL EXISTING card users are requested to PLEASE RETAIN YOUR LUNCH CARDS as a back up or alternative.

•       Please read on to view some of the most frequently asked questions regarding thumb print recognition.

Should you have any further questions or require more information please contact .....Head of Catering using the following email address:

Frequently Asked Questions.

Are you actually taking a finger print of our child?

We will take a digital signature of your child’s thumb, which our software breaks down into data points, similar to reference points on a map. The software then turns these into an alpha-numerical string, which is then stored on a dedicated SQL server. We are NOT taking a picture image as would be used for example in a police station.

So, what prevents this data from being read by someone else to identify our children?

The data is encrypted using 128-bit encryption and represented as an alpha-numerical string and most importantly the data cannot be reverse engineered, or put another way the string of data can never be used as anything other than a string of data.

Is this the same as the police get when they take a fingerprint?

The police keep a picture of a finger print. It is not possible to take our digital capture and turn it into such a picture. It cannot be matched with a fingerprint or used by the police.

Is the database of thumb scans secure?

The digital captures are stored on a dedicated server. No access would be permitted other than as required by the requirements of the Data Protection Act.

How does the software work?

During the thumb print initiation process a digital signature is captured. The data is stored on the site server. The digital image is matched against a thumb on the digital personal scanner with software matching against the users unique issued ID. This process takes less than 0.6 of a second.

 Can a swipe card be used as well?

As the software is matching against a card number if the user also has a card, which can used in lieu of a thumbprint.

Friday 5 June 2009

Twitter email to clarinette01

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