British school kids to get lifelong numbers


According to <a href=””>The Times</a>, British school kids will be assigned a unique number that will be associated with their school records and that will follow them for life. Privacy advocates are concerned.

1 Comment

  1. douglasmcmahon

    February 14, 2008 @ 2:53 pm


    I used to be very blasé about the emergence of government databases containing information to track people. I could never understand why my Grandfather saw the national I.D. cards as such a threat and why he opposed the idea so much. Funnily enough its not the high profile loss of data from those systems that is starting to change my mind, but rather a growing realisation that privacy as a value is something to be protected in and of itself. In effect I now look on the attempts to introduce these systems from the “show me a good reason to do it” rather than the “I can’t see a good reason not to” side of things. But this doesn’t mean I have a good, well reasoned, considered account to give of my position. I hope we explore this in class at some point.

    On a personal note, as someone who went through the system as a 14 year old 10 years ago, something needed to be done. I took exams (nominally the same qualifications) with four different exam boards. I lost all my certificates, as I’m wont to do, and it cost me a fortune to get computer print outs to prove my grades when going to University. They wouldn’t even provide replacement certificates unless they were lost in fire! If there is a principled, well structured, way of using computer systems to fix a broken system like this it should be implemented. The question is how to do it properly, which no one seems to be able to answer.