Campus Cards, College and University Identification and Security

Maine university requires hand scanners to deter sharing of ID cards

Monday, December 26, 2011

In an attempt to prevent students from sharing their ID cards in the cafeteria meal line, the University of Maine at Orono has deployed hand scanners.

The scanners were first installed at the beginning of the fall semester and it’s mandatory for all students with an unlimited meal plan. In the next couple of years the university intends to expand scanner use to anyone who eats in the dining hall.


“If people are sharing meal plans, it increases food costs, which in turn increases the costs overall for students,” said Kathy Kittiridge, director of dining operations

Why can’t cashiers simply compare the photograph on the ID with the student presenting it? “Photos get old, worn and faded,” said Dan Sturrup, director of auxiliary services. “When there are large lines of people it’s unreasonable to ask the cashier to check every photograph, and it’s often too difficult to tell if the photograph is the actual person holding the card.”

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A student ID can verify an individual’s identity with a simple swipe, tap or scan, instantly tethering the person who presents the card to a user account on the backend system. But what happens when the cardholder no longer uses their legal name?

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