Monday, February 04, 2008

Biometrics in schools - "hard to sell to parents"

A slight thought process going on at the Broome-Tioga Board of Cooperative Educational Services on biometrics, even if it is just about the fact that "it's hard to sell to parents".

Broome-Tioga BOCES serves 15 school districts in Broome and Tioga counties, which deals with nearly 40,000 students in grades k-12 and many others in adult programs.

Kathy Alley from Broome-Tioga say that she "envisions a school district where fingerprint scanners are in cafeterias, building entrances, classrooms and buses".

Why? Apparently she cites that "missing children" will be easier to track... (how many of the 40,000 children do the 15 school districts lose?) Where is the personal eye to eye contact in registration with teacher and pupil if children are simply logged in by fingerscan?

The reason it is hard to sell to parents is because we, as adults, can make informed decisions about biometric technology and when and where we use it. Infact recently, at Heathrow Airport, when biometric technology is imposed on adults, rountinely, there is an outcry.

Children in school are in a compliant situation - a soft market for biometric companies when authorities require more and more detailed information from schools about our children.

Schools having our children's biometric identifiers, as well, is a step too far.

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