Campus Cards, College and University Identification and Security

N.J. school district uses biometrics for cashless POS

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Summit School District in New Jersey is utilizing a combination of various technology to streamline accounting and speed up lunch lines, according to an Independent Press release.

Elementary schools are utilizing biometric scanners, which read students’ fingertip to pay for meals. However, officials say at no time is a fingerprint image made or stored.

In fact, the finger scanner is said to convert student’s biometric information into a set of binaries (0s and 1s). This is the only information stored in the districts server. When a student returns to the cafeteria the device scans, again in binaries, and looks for a match in the database. Identification is then made and the account information is available to the cashier.

In the district’s high school cafeterias students swipe their ID cards to pay for meals, and middle schools have students enter an assigned PIN number.

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The use of biometrics in schools is a hot-button issue, and one that raises significant concerns over the privacy and civil rights of young people. When conducted without the express consent of students – and more importantly their parents and guardians – the results can be disastrous. Just ask the folks at the Polk County School District.

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Salem City School District is implementing a new policy requiring all school personnel to wear identification badges after a fourth grader discussed the idea in a school writing assignment, according to Salem News.

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Richland County School District One, with its headquarters in Columbia, S.C.., has selected ScholarChip to provide smart photo ID cards for both students and staff.

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The use of biometrics in schools is once again the topic of debate in the Florida legislature, with lawmakers considering a proposal that would prohibit school districts from collecting biometric information – including fingerprints, handprints, iris and voice.

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The much-publicized biometrics bill in the state of Florida – SB 188 proposed by Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange – has passed through he House without any additional amendments. The bill awaits Gov. Rick Scott’s signature before becoming law.

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The use of Social Security numbers has once again become a hot-button topic in Louisiana legislature, particularly for students who often share the sensitive data even without parental knowledge.

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