Ohio’s Westerville City School District Food Service Department is in the process of rolling out biometric finger scanning at several schools throughout the Columbus area.
According to a report from This Week Community News, instead of swiping their ID card to pay for lunch, students now will use a fingerprint to access their meal accounts. The new system is intended to boost the security for student meal accounts, eliminate clerical errors, give students more time to eat lunch and offer them an easy way to identify themselves when paying for their meals in the cafeteria.
The new fingerprint system, which cost the district $3,731 for the three buildings, will initially be used by 1,100 students. Once the district is confident the system is working well with its point-of-sale software, the system will be implemented at the remaining buildings this school year.
Currently, middle school and high school students carry their ID cards and swipe them at the cashier station. At the elementary school level, teachers keep student IDs in the classroom and hand them out as needed.
The district emphasized that fingerprints will not be stored. As is the standard practice with fingerprint systems, the students will have their index fingers scanned as an identifier, the image then being converted to an encrypted, binary number.