Gdansk Primary School fined for using fingerprint data to verify meal payments

Occurred: March 2020

Gdansk Primary School No. 2, in northern Poland, was fined EUR 4,600 by UODO, the country's data privacy regulator, for processing students' fingerprint data to verify their school meal payments. 

The school had been using fingerprints to verify whether pupils had paid for their meals since 2015, with system being used on 680 children in the current academic year, while four children were processed using 'an alternative identification system'.

According to UODO, the system was unfair, and 'significantly disproportionate' to the task. It also said that other, more appropriate, forms of identification could have bene used.  

The President of UODO ordered the erasure of the students' fingerprint processed and the cessation of any further collection of personal data.

October 2021. Several schools in North Ayrshire, Scotland, attracted the ire of the UK data privacy regulator for using facial recognition to verify school meal payments.

System 🤖

Operator: Gdansk Primary School No. 2
Developer: Unknown
Country: Poland
Sector: Education
Purpose: Verify meal payments
Technology: Fingerprint biometrics
Issue: Privacy; Appropriateness/need
Transparency: Governance

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: March 2020
Last updated: November 2021