Florida Becomes First State to Ban Scanning Kids for Biometric Data



For Immediate Release
June 2, 2014

Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, DHamilton@HamiltonStrategies.com


Florida Becomes First State to Ban Scanning Kids for Biometric Data 

Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom Says Residents of Other States Should Call for Similar Bans to Protect Privacy


ST. PAUL, Minn.—As schoolchildren in Florida prepare for the exciting end of the year, their parents can celebrate a victory and breathe a sigh of relief, too.

The state of Florida recently passed a law prohibiting schools from scanning biometric information from students. Florida Gov. Rick Scott officially signed the ban that makes it unlawful for schools to collect palm scans, iris scans or fingerprints of its students.

Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, www.cchfreedom.orgsays it’s a step in the right direction to protect private medical data.

“Florida has set the bar for privacy by becoming the first government to ban biometric scans of children,” said CCHF president and co-founder Twila Brase. “According to the new law, biometrics are data collected from the electronic measurement of physical and behavioral characteristics attributable to a single person. Examples include fingerprints, hand scans, retinal scans, voice prints, facial scans, and even DNA. The unhappy biometrics industry says people are only looking at the risks of biometric scanning. They say children lose passwords, but never fingerprints. But Arab schools are already using fingerprints for tracking, discipline and improving productivity. Do you we really want our children desensitized to biometric controls?”

CCHF, a Minnesota-based national organization dedicated to preserving patient-centered health care and protecting patient and privacy rights, says Florida appears to be the first government in the world to prohibit scanning children’s biometric information.

“There’s a haunting scene in ‘The Hunger Games’ film where a child’s finger is pricked, her blood spot is scanned, and her identity is immediately known,” Brase said. “This might seem like a futuristic, fictional movie storyline but it is entirely possible as the government captures more and more of our personal biomedical information and stores it for its own use.”

Republican Sen. Dorothy L. Hukill proposed the bill, called Education Data Privacy, which bans the collection of any and all biometric data in Florida public schools. The law, which will go into effect this summer, also mandates that parents and students be advised annually of their rights regarding education records and requires the Department of Education to utilize Florida Student Identification Numbers instead of social security numbers to organize student records and data.

Brase added that residents in other states should demand biometrics bans in their own states.

“The Florida law is a victory for privacy, protecting the privacy rights of Florida’s children, and now 49 more states need to follow suit,” she said. “CCHF is encouraging citizens to contact their state legislators and bring this important issue to their attention. We need to protect the privacy of all our children so the frightening scenes in movies don’t become reality.”

Residents of every state can find the name and contact information for their Senators at a United State Senate link.Members of the House of Representatives can be researched by entering a zip code, which displays the Representative’s name, information and web site.

Celebrating its 20th year, Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom is a patient-centered national health freedom organization based in St. Paul, Minn. CCHF exists to protect health care choices and patient privacy.​ CCHF also sponsors the daily, 60-second radio feature, Health Freedom Minute, which airs on more than 150 stations nationwide on the American Family Radio Network and 90-plus stations on the Bott Radio Network. Listeners can learn more about the agenda behind proposed health care initiatives and​ steps they can take to protect their health care choices, rights and privacy. 

CCHF president and co-founder Twila Brase, R.N., has been called one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Health Care” and one of “Minnesota’s 100 Most Influential Health Care Leaders.” Brase, a public health nurse, has been interviewed by CNN, Fox News, Minnesota Public Radio, NBC Nightly News, NBC’s Today Show, NPR, New York Public Radio, the Associated Press, Modern Healthcare, TIME, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Washington Times, among others. She is at the forefront of informing the public of crucial health issues, such as intrusive wellness and prevention initiatives in Obamacare, patient privacy, informed consent, the dangers of “evidence-based medicine” and the implications of state and federal health care reform.


For more information or to interview Twila Brase, president and co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, contact Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, DHamilton@HamiltonStrategies.com.

view pdf