Exorcising the biometric bogeyman

Shedding light on Florida’s biometric ban (Secure ID News)

For Florida State Rep. Jake Raburn (R – Valrico) one of the bill’s sponsors, it’s a privacy issue. “No one, including the federal government, should be allowed access to our students’ personally identifiable information,” Raburn said. “This legislation will protect this sensitive information and prevent its misuse.”

The Pinellas County school district, near Tampa, uses palm scanners to move kids through lunch lines. Barbara Dalesandro, a food service technology coordinator for the district, tried to convince lawmakers to reject the legislation.

“When we had cards and PIN numbers, there was constant fraud. Other students always drained the accounts. There was a significant loss of revenue in that regard,” Dalesandro said. “We’ve been using palm scanning for four years with no problems from our parents.” – See more at: http://secureidnews.com/news-item/shedding-light-on-floridas-biometric-ban/#sthash.EBTXaPnZ.dpuf

They did it

The State of Florida has banned biometrics in schools — biometric systems intended to help schools function better in delivering the services they are tasked with providing.

It’ll be fun to see if someone decides to sue when a school tries to sell yearbooks this year. After all, if using a secure biometric system to help a school lunch line move faster is wrong, how can schools be allowed to sell a facial recognition database of the school’s students?

On a side note, the big annual biometrics conference is in Tampa, Florida again this year.

Secure Identity & Biometrics Association weighs in in Florida bill

Florida schools would benefit with biometric ID (Orlando Sentinel)

The Florida Senate’s Criminal Justice Committee’s 5-1 vote last month to ban biometrics in all schools lacks common sense and denies schools the opportunity to improve safety, standards and fiscal accountability. What is so unfortunate about the Senate vote is that it is based on misunderstood science and two districts out of 67 counties that failed to follow simple program protocols, now threatening to deny sensible biometric program implementation in places like Miami-Dade.

As we’ve said before, if schools can’t be trusted with sensitive information, biometrics aren’t the biggest cause for concern.

Florida moves to ban school biometrics

This is a biometric database

Senate panel votes to ban biometric data collection in schools (Florida Current)

A key Senate committee voted to stop public school systems from collecting “biometric” data on students, despite warnings that unplugging the computerized systems will waste money and make it harder to move hundreds of kids through lunchroom lines.

“These are children,” said Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange. “There is no reason to scan a kid. Just because the government can do this is no reason the government should be doing this.”

I haven’t read the bill but school yearbook companies, school ID card suppliers, and school photographers might want to make a few calls to the 850 area code. Photos of faces are biometrics, after all.

More posts on biometrics in schools.

Outright technology bans are easy to understand, but they often have unintended consequences and seldom benefit large organizations. It’s better to develop a solid understanding of the appropriate use of a given technology and how it furthers an organization’s mission.

But isn’t the school yearbook a biometric database?

FLORIDA: Lawmakers to consider banning biometrics in schools (Miami Herald)

“We’ve been able to get kids through a lunch line for decades,” said state Sen. Dorothy Hukill, a Port Orange Republican who brought the idea to the Florida Senate. “Why do we need to take their biometric information when we know there is the potential for identity theft?”

But the idea may meet resistance from local school boards, some of which want the flexibility to create their own policies.

“Biometrics is coming,” said Miami-Dade School Board member Raquel Regalado, who spearheaded an effort to create a local biometrics policy this month. “It exists in the market. It will exist in our schools. It may end up being a viable way to ensure there isn’t fraud.”

IT-Lex has a more useful elucidation of what’s going on in Florida Bills Target The Use Of Biometrics In Schools.

One proposal requires that those proposing biometric solutions (1) explain the type of information being collected, how it is collected and stored, and the purposes for which the information is being used; (2) require written permission before collection; (3) ensure that the information is used only for identification or fraud prevention purposes; (4) ensure that the information is not disclosed to another governmental entity or a third party without written permission; (5) provide for the protection from unauthorized disclosure; and (6) require the encryption of all biometric information.

The other is written so broadly that it could apply to school yearbooks and photo ID’s.

It isn’t clear which one the legislative committee voted on today.

Disney biometrics: Going back to Cali? I don’t think so.

Disney [Kinda] Puts Its Foot Down on Ticket Renting (COASTER-net)

Disney began cracking down when they realized that the businesses were offering these multi-day discounts for less than $100 a day when the going rate for both parks is $125 for a single-day ticket.

Walt Disney parks in Florida and other parks such as SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks use a biometric finger scanning system for their multi-day pass system. However, according to Disney in California a similar system will not be used at the Disneyland Resort theme parks.

OK, I’ll save you the Google search. Here it is…