Sleepwalking into a Surveillance State | Pippa King | TEDxGlasgow

verything, from our music tastes and shopping habits to our faces and fingerprints, is up for grabs in the business of big data. But who exactly owns this data? How will it be used? And what impact will this ever-increasing digital footprint have on our lives? These are questions that privacy campaigner, Pippa King, began to ask when she discovered that biometric data from her children was being collected by their school. As it turns out, this isn’t uncommon. Around 80% of schoolchildren will have had their fingerprint scanned by the time they leave school. In this eye-opening talk, she asks, will privacy be an unknown concept for the next generation? Or will we – along with the government, policymakers, and business leaders – take a stand to protect our data privacy? Author – Sleepwalking into a Surveillance State

Pippa King campaigns against intrusions to children’s privacy in education. From 1999-2013 schools in the UK had been taking children’s biometric data without consultation or consent from parents. Since Pippa became aware of this she has campaigned relentlessly against schools using children’s biometrics and for parents to have openness and transparency on the use of their children’s data.

As a result of lobbying MPs the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 was passed in May 2012 which requires that schools must now gain written parental consent if they wish to store/process a child’s biometric data. She continues to raise awareness of the wider implications on adult society with biometrics and RFID technology, pushing for debate and transparency. Pippa is the author of Biometrics in schools and Against RFID in schools blogs. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at