There it is!
Parents report that finger scanning has been implemented in Putnam City Schools.
“A computerized cashiering system is used for all students in middle school cafeterias. This system, known as “biometrics,” allows your child to access his or her meal account by touching a finger to a small scanner at the cafeteria cash register. Students will have their finger scanned and the system will create a template based on the scan. Students will no longer be required to carry meal cards.”
Why has the school decided to implement finger scanning? Apparently to make the lunch lines faster.
“The real plus of this system is that while students’ meal cards can be misplaced or loaned to friends, fingers cannot. Using a touchpad scanner means every time students step up to the cafeteria cash register, they’re good to go,” says Jennifer Strong, the district’s director of Child Nutrition.
The collection of biometric data is an extremely sensitive matter and nothing less than fully informed active consent should be acceptable. Active consent is when the parent must grant permission in writing before their child is allowed to participate in something, passive consent means if the parent does nothing, it is assumed that permission is granted.
Putnam City Schools say that;
Parents who prefer that their students use the meal card system rather than the biometric system may contact the cafeteria to opt out of the biometric system. In this case, students must carry their meal cards in order to access their cafeteria accounts. Read More
Parents may also “opt out” by signing this form and returning it to the school.
The schools and the vendors assure parents that the scanners pose no security or privacy risks to children.
It’s not the scanners I’m worried about, is the people in charge of administering the system. I also don’t fear guns jumping up and shooting me but I do keep a close eye on the person handling it.
Sodexo, a food service provider, is the corporation running the finger scanning operation in Oklahoma and in other states has a less than stellar record regarding safety.
Bad Burgers Make Metro Students Sick
Posted at 11:02 AM on January 17, 2006
ChannelOklahoma.com reports that several metro middle school students were sick Friday night after eating food that had been left out since before Christmas.
OSHA Fines New Jersey School Contractor Sodexo for Serious Safety Hazards
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J., July 23 – SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J., July 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined Sodexo, one of the state’s largest school contractors, for nine serious safety hazards that endangered workers and could have harmed students in the South Plainfield School District.
BATAVIA – Batavia school administrators are considering ending their contract with food-services provider Sodexho after a child sex offender was found working in two school kitchens last week.
Sodexo Busted for Overcharging Scheme-
ATTORNEY GENERAL CUOMO ANNOUNCES $20 MILLION SETTLEMENT WITH FOOD SERVICES COMPANY FOR OVERCHARGING NEW YORK SCHOOLS
Settlement part of ongoing, industry-wide investigation
Sodexo. not surprisingly, is also pretty laid back when it comes to collecting your kids’ biometrics;
Sodexo Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District’s new food service contractor violated state law when it collected fingerprints from students
Monday, Aug. 16 2010
Arizona law forbids schools from collecting “biometric information,” including finger scans, without proper advance notice and written consent from parents.
These stories are just a sampling of the problems with Sodexo.
The schools tell parents;
“This system is very secure and can only be used for identification in the school cafeteria. It does not store fingerprints or images of the fingerprint.”
I have no specific knowledge of the system they are using so I can’t refute or affirm these claims. I do know a bit about biometrics and identification systems as well as the governmental policies in place regarding the use of biometrics and this much I know this much for sure; our government is hell bent on collecting our biometrics. They have been working diligently on database interoperability (ensuring that various systems are using a universal language so that they can “talk” to one another)
They don’t simply want the biometric (technically, they use the “template” of the biometric), they want the associated biographical data as well and are moving into an access controlled society and your biometrics data is the preferred credential.
In order to access a given place, service or good first your credentials or ID must be checked to determine if you are authorized access. Just like the kiddo’s lining up to scan then eat. By the way, this is great training for them to accept a numbered, cashless society without a fuss.
Here’s the problem. If some authority has the power to permit access then they also have the power to deny access. With biometrics, your body is your ID.
Recently I read an article where a former East German lady was being interviewed about life before the wall came down. She was asked why German’s didn’t raise a ruckus when Checkpoint Charlie went up. She said because they always let everyone pass…until one day they didn’t.
Every time you are ID’d you are at a checkpoint but with this technology there are no papers involved, the effect is exactly the same. The reality is that you will pass only if the authority approves your credentials and guess what? They get to set the criteria for who is allowed to pass and they can also change that criteria at any time.
Right now it is simply for lunchroom ID but in short order the ID system will expand and when it does they will begin to make the databases interoperable. I mean, why have a separate system for the bus and the library? Just combine the data systems and make one database for the whole school.
Then the separate school systems may as well combine because there will be some crossover services between schools like busing to ball games. There will also be more and more electronic services like tele-classes, virtual library borrowing and don’t forget health care which is rapidly moving into the school systems. So school wide, district wide statewide and nationwide interoperable databases are becoming be a must.
How do I know?
Because I am watching the same thing happen with data systems everyday.
Separate data bases are referred to as “silos” by our government and corporations who really want to gain access to as much of our information as possible. They want to break down these silos, and they are doing it. Public schools are NO exception! In fact, we are moving to common data standards systems right now for the express purpose of combining multiple student information data sets into one national data warehouse.
The Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF)
SIF is not a product, but an industry initiative that enables diverse applications to interact and share data. As of March 2007, SIF is estimated to have been used in more than 48 states and 6 countries, supporting five million students
“We recognized that only through some kind of integration system could we effectively manage these expanding stores of siloed data,” he says. “[No Child Left Behind] would later emerge as a driver of this integration, but just the notion of systemic use of the information was appealing. It became clear that we couldn’t leave it all in silos. The creation of the SIF specification solved that problem. In fact, it was created to do just that.” Read More
SIF Category Information (the info they are collecting and sharing now)
“SIF is interested in internationalising the specification. This of course expands the marketplace for vendors who have implemented SIF-enabled products”–from the Report on the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) 2003
Our financial records, health records and driving records are all separate systems and this is good! With our information safely ensconced in “silos” Only the people that need to know a specific piece of information about you see that information. Put ALL of that info together and what happens if it gets stolen or compromised?
But don’t take my word for it, listen to Zbigniew:
“The technotronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. […] The capacity to assert social and political control over the individual will vastly increase. It will soon be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and to maintain up-to-date, complete files, containing even most personal information about the health or personal behavior of the citizen in addition to more customary data.
These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities.”
“We need to take very great care not to fall into a way of life in which freedom’s back is broken by the relentless pressure of a security State.” Sir Ken Macdonald QC, Director of Public Prosecutions (2003-2008)
Personally, I don’t want any part of it.