Monday, January 28, 2008

In and out

As Iowa plan to allow biometrics back into schools after their House File 685, the child identification and protection act, was signed into law in May 2005, biometric scanners are being axed in schools in Phoenix, Arizona.

An ill informed Jeff Berger of the state Dept of Education, Iowa, states "This technology is really perfectly safe... information can't be reconverted back into an actual fingerprint", this statement is incorrect but this continual and convenient inaccuracy of truth is obviously backed up by the biometric sales industry:

"That's true", said Ali Pabrai, the chief executive officer of, a West Des Moines-based biometrics consulting company."

Their views are not shared by Fred Bellamy, a Phoenix Attorney who specializes in Technology Law or Microsoft's Identity Architect Kim Cameron - (I know who'd I'd rather believe).

Fred Bellamy went on to say that "fingerprinting children is an invasion of privacy. “Once the data are captured no matter what kind of promises the vendor may make there is a serious risk, and I think the parents have every reason to be concerned about how this data will ultimately be used.”

Espiritu Community Schools in Phoenix used biometrics technology to scan the fingerprints of students. School officials told us it was a way to keep track of school lunches so they can receive federal aid.

But this past week, in a letter sent to all parents, the district states it's stopping the use of this technology. The letter states they will “yield the use of the biometrics finger scan system”. They are replacing it with student ID cards.

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