Whether a photograph is considered a biometric

Kent County Council did not have the information requested.

Dear Kent County Council,

Under the Freedom of Information Act please could you supply the following information within 20 working days.

1) Please advise whether Kent County Council considers a photograph to be a biometric or latent biometric in the UK?

2) If Kent County Council do not believe a photograph to be a biometric or latent biometric in the UK, please advise the reasons, including any legal evidence or knowledge you have.

3) If Kent County Council do believe a photograph to be a biometric or latent biometric in the UK, please advise the reasons, including any legal evidence or knowledge you have.

Some parts of this request may be easier to answer than others, and in such case please could you release available data as soon as possible rather than delay the entire request.

If you are not fully certain of what it is I am asking then I look forward to contact from you as soon as possible to clarify what it is I am requesting in order to meet your obligations under the law.

If the costs of processing this request exceed the limit in the Act, please advise on what information you are able to supply within the cost limit.

Yours faithfully,

Pippa King

Kent County Council

Dear Ms King

 

Thank you for your email below.

 

Kent County Council acknowledges your request for information under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000. Assuming KCC holds this information, we
will endeavour to supply the data to you as soon as possible but no later
than 6^th August 2014 (20 working days from date of receipt).

 

We will advise you as soon as possible if we do not hold this information
or if there are exemptions to be considered and/or any costs for providing
the information. Please quote our reference - FOI/14/1299 - in any
communication regarding this particular request.

 

Best regards

 

Alan Dix

Information Access Officer

Information Resilience & Transparency Team

Strategic & Corporate Services, Governance & Law,

Kent County Council, Room 2.71, Sessions House, County Road, Maidstone,
ME14 1XQ

Tel: 01622 221652, Internal 7000 1652, Fax: 01622 696075

http://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council...

 

 

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Kent County Council

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    FOI 14 0712 FOI COMPLAINT RESPONSE.html

    19K Download

Dear Ms King

 

Thank you for your request for information.

 

In an earlier request (our reference FOI/14/0712) you asked

 

"6) A letter from John Hill, Chair of Board of Governors at SCPS to a
parent stated - “Our understanding is that this [photograph] is not in any
way a biometric record and having sought legal advice from KCC it is our
understanding that although there is information on the Internet that
photographs are a form of latent biometric, this is not legally the case
in the UK” . What determination or legislation was used by KCC to advise
John Hill that a photograph is not a latent biometric.  Please supply a
copy of advice given or bodies consulted, case law, etc., of how this
determination was reached. 

 

We advised you that KCC does not hold any recorded information to enable
us to answer this question. The same applies to question 1 of your latest
request. As you are asking for an previously unrecorded opinion on a legal
point, KCC does not consider that your first question falls within the
scope of legislation and is therefore not obliged to respond to it.
Consequently questions 2 & 3 are not applicable.

 

For future reference, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides a right
of access to recorded information held by public authorities like Kent
County Council. The Act's provisions do not provide any rights of access
to thoughts, opinions, comments or interpretations unless of course they
are already on record. Likewise, there is no obligation to create
information to satisfy requests. I have provided a link to the Information
Commissioner’s guidance for the public on formulating requests for
information.

[1]http://ico.org.uk/for_the_public/officia...

 

If you are unhappy with this response, and believe KCC has not complied
with legislation, please ask for a review by following our complaints
process; details can be found at this link
[2]http://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council...
 on our website. Please quote reference FOI/14/1299.

 

If you still remain dissatisfied following an internal review, you can
appeal to the Information Commissioner, who oversees compliance with the
Freedom of Information Act 2000. Details of what you need to do, should
you wish to pursue this course of action, are available from the
Information Commissioner’s website [3]http://ico.org.uk/concerns

 

Best regards

 

Caroline Dodge

Team Leader, Information Resilience & Transparency Team,

Strategic & Corporate Services, Governance & Law

Kent County Council, Room 2.71, Sessions House, County Road, Maidstone,
ME14 1XQ

Tel: 01622 221652, Internal 7000 1652,

Fax: 01622 696075

[4]http://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council...

 

 

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Pippa King left an annotation ()

Email sent 14/8/14

Dear Caroline Dodge and Kent Legal Services,

Ref: Kent County Council advising a school Governor that 'legally' in the UK a photograph is not a latent biometric.

I am gravely concerned about a Chair of a Board of Governors statement at Swalecliffe Community Primary School http://www.swalecliffeprimary.org/ to parents and members of the school community in a letter quoting advice that he was given by Kent County Council, that reads in relation to a school biometric system, "Our understanding is that this [photograph] is not in any way a biometric record and having sought legal advice from KCC [Kent County Council] it is our understanding that although there is information on the Internet that photographs are a form of latent biometric, this is not legally the case in the UK” when Kent County Council cannot support his statement. This potentially puts John Hill and parents in a situation where misinformation has been given regarding their children's biometrics.

I have asked Kent County Council what legal determination they are using via two Freedom of Information requests and they are unable to supply this information. See: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/w... https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/b...

I contacted the the Biometrics Institute in London http://www.biometricsinstitute.org/, who are an international independent body representing the biometrics industry worldwide and they are perplexed by this statement, made by John Hill, Chair of the Board of Governors at Swalecliffe Community Primary School via Kent County Council, stating photographs are not legally considered a biometric in the UK. The Biometrics Institute contacted various of their members (legal, police, developers and industry vendors) to see if this was legally the case in the UK and no one could offer any legal ruling on this whatsoever.

I would respectfully ask how it is that Kent County Council seem unable to support this statement made to parents by John Hill. I have to presume John Hill is telling the truth in his communication to parents but in any instance, parents when dealing with information the topic of their children's biometrics, need to be absolutely clear when giving 'informed' consent to their children's biometrics to be processed by a school i.e. where the advice is coming from and that the advice is sound.

Could you then please advise how John Hill determined from yourselves that a photograph is not legally considered a biometric in the UK? If the information John Hill gave the parents is incorrect then his misinformation to parents, which I am sure is unintentional, needs to be rectified. Also this could potentially put into question the consent parents have given for their children's biometrics to be processed. Under the law a non biometric alternative must be offered i.e. swipe card or pin, etc. See the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, Chapter 2, 26 (7) http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012...

If Kent County Council cannot definitively back up their advice supplied to parents via John Hill and the Biometrics Institute, a independent worldwide body, cannot verify what Kent County Council are stating, also given that the biometrics industry does us photograph as biometric data, it would seem that Swalecliffe Community Primary school have not met their obligations under the legislation detailed above, in that they have not offered a non biometric alternative to the fingerprint system currently being used.

I look forward to your reply.

Pippa King left an annotation ()

Email sent 21st Sept 2014:

Dear Caroline Dodge and Kent Legal Services,

I am sorry that you have not replied to my email of August 14th which raises some very valid issues regarding children's use of technology in schools, parental consent and a school's legal obligation under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

I am not going to reiterate what I have requested in my earlier email of the 14th of August but will be taking further advice on the situation from the Department of Education and the Department of Justice (that I understand oversees the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012). Advice on how this has been handled will also be taken from the Local Government Ombudsman.

Where children's and parent's rights are concerned, with the seeming confusion of facts here, the responsibility of care and the best interests of these Kent's residents perhaps does not seem to have been served well in this instance.

Yours sincerely,
Pippa King

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