Biometrics in schools raises privacy questions

Oct. 9, 2012
Some parents are concerned that schools are intruding on children's rights

From Law professor Anita Ramasastry examines the privacy issues involved in schools' using hand-scanning and other biometric methods to keep track of meal purchases, library lending and other activities by young students. “The key question here is this: Do we really want this sort of intrusive information taken from young children?”

RELATED...from The Baltimore Sun: Students in Carroll County (Md.) schools are paying for their meals by having their palms scanned — raising concerns from some parents that their children's privacy is being violated. The system uses an infrared scanner that identifies unique palm and vein patterns, and converts the image into an encrypted numeric algorithm that records a sale. The school system does not store those images, but some parents have complained about the implications of having their children's hands scanned. About 20 percent of parents have declined to participate in the program, a district administrator says.

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