This is where we are headed?

Palm scanner in school cafeterias

They just did this at my job. We have a finger scanner. I was opposing the new system; I lost. I would not allow my kids to do this though. In reality, our fingerprints are all over town anyway. My kids are not on file and I would like to keep things private with them for as long as possible. Ya, know?

Instead of paying for their lunches with crumpled dollar bills and loose change, students in some Maryland schools are having their palms scanned in a new check-out system — raising concerns from some parents that their children’s privacy is being violated.

Children from kindergarten to 12th grade place their hands above an infrared scanner. It identifies unique palm and vein patterns and converts the image into an encrypted numeric algorithm that records a sale.

Though the school system does not store those images, 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.

One parent said, “I didn’t appreciate how they handled it.” He said that the school scanned their hands before sending the opt-out form. “I’m concerned about it. I know it’s the way of the future, but it’s fingerprinting, it’s palm-printing.”

School officials defend the system, noting that the algorithm is the only piece of data stored; it is used to identify a child’s account. If students opt out of the service, they give their names to the cashier, who manually charges their accounts.

The school system’s goal is to decrease the time between transactions. Children have limited time to eat lunch and there are complaints about children not wanting to wait in a long line.

Khaliah Barnes, open-government counsel with the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said that schools should have allowed parents to opt in to the service, rather than out.

“With students, this presents unique privacy threats,” Barnes said. “We’re talking about elementary school students, and that type of technology can make children less inclined to the rights of privacy. Imagine being tracked from age 8 to age 16, and then a university continues to use it, it becomes old hat and makes them less inclined to recognize privacy threats.”

Barnes compared the biometric palm scan to the full-body scans in airports, which became the primary tool for screening passengers in 2010. Through a Freedom of Information Act request, Barnes said, EPIC discovered that, though the body scanners do not record images of passengers, they do have storage capabilities.

Other point-of-sale systems in state schools use a card reader or a PIN to access a child’s account. Sarno said that the drawbacks of such systems — especially for elementary school students — are that the children tend to lose the card or forget the PIN. The palm-reading system also eliminates the possibility of other students lending out their cards or numbers to others.

In the future, parents should be able to pre-pay electronically on their students’ accounts, as well as monitor when and what meals their children are eating. Currently, they can only pre-pay for meals on a child’s account through a check.

I am not feeling it. I know it makes more business sense; the accounting will be much easier. I still don’t like this idea. This is really becoming the world, we used to watch on T.V.

Chime In…



  1. I don’t know.

    It’s probably the wave of the future, but it sounds kinda “1984ish” to me. One things for sure, I wouldn’t want to put my hand where thousands of other people are putting their hands. I can only imagine how sick people would get from doing that.

    Some of us germaphobes would be put off by that sort of thing.


  2. KDaddy23,
    I agree with SocialKenny regarding the slow conditioning of the American people. I’m not sure I go as far a “Hell on Earth”… I’ve been around the Earth a bit and seen a little… but anyway, the biggest problem with biometric passwords is once they ARE hacked, they are hacked forever. You cannot change, modify or complicate your biometrics. The Technology has been around for a very long time and is not particularly expensive to deploy. Yet is has not been. Just a thought.


  3. Biometric scanning, in and of itself, isn’t what I’d call a bad thing. It’s efficient and one would have to do some James Bond type shit to fool a scanner since both fingerprints and blood vessel patterns are unique to the person. If there is a bad part, it’s what might be done with any data a scanner might retain and, according to what you provided, the only data being retained is the child’s biometric pattern. Given that this technology isn’t being used elsewhere in the school or anywhere else for any other purpose, that some parents are saying this violates the child’s privacy seems to be a knee-jerk reaction because the school initiated the system without letting the parents know about it first.

    Given how widespread identity theft is these days, resorting to biometric identification methods will grow. For example, last month, I went to Orlando on vacation and to do the theme park thing; at every park we went to, not only did we have to show our ticket and have its barcode scanned, but we also had to have a finger scanned as well. The cool thing, I thought, was that the first time I used my ticket, they scanned my finger… and my print worked for every theme park I went to. Given how much that particular ticket cost – damn near $400 for 14-day access, the investment was protected; if I lost the ticket and someone found it, they would not have been able to use it – and simply because their fingerprint wouldn’t match mine.

    Hell, you can get a computer that won’t let you use it unless you scan your finger and the print matches so don’t be surprise if the technology starts showing up in other places.


  4. This is like training and conditioning kids to get used to the idea of being imprisoned.

    You may think that I come off with a doom and gloom attitude to certain things, but I wish the world or America wasn’t a demonic hell on Earth, but reality is; it is hell on Earth, and it’s ushering in the New World Order pretty fast.

    On a lighter note, all this is all part of the government (US) taking away more rights from its citizens under the banner and excuse of “National security” and terrorism and al-qaeda.

    TSA at airports groping women and shit. This is all part of the conspiracy to take away the ppl’s rights in the name of “Terrorism”.

    And believe me, this school meals thins has nothing to do with niceties. It’s all the government’s way to track, spy on and run surveillance on all it’s citizens.


Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.