Mississippi: Fingerprint verification for subsidized services, finally

Mississippi implements finger scan system for daycare (The Commercial Appeal – Memphis, TN)

Under the system being implemented by the state Department of Human Services, parents must use a finger scanner to sign their children in and out. Proponents say it will save money and cause parents to visit preschools more often, but opponents argue the system is intrusive and creates technical headaches.

About 18,000 children will be affected by the move.

You have to read between the lines, but this is at least partly a ghost-busting mission within government-subsidized child care.

We first commented on this deployment in September of last year in Biometric deployment winners and losers. Follow the links for great examples of arguments made in opposition to tightening up ID management.

More here.

Not only does a fingerprint biometric raise the burden of proof that subsidized services are actually being provided, it makes it harder for unauthorized individuals to remove a child from a child care facility.

Mississippi pauses Biometrics pilot for subsidized child care vouchers

The Mississippi program to bring rigor to the identity management protocols of providers who receive parent-controlled vouchers for caring for children in poor families is still struggling.

We first wrote about this deployment here in “Biometric deployment winners and losers.”

Since then, the Jackson Free Press has published two more articles that warrant mention.

Following the DHS Scanner Money

DHS Pauses Finger Scan Expansion.

This story continues to provide good examples of the technical challenges associated with large scale biometric deployments as well as the management challenges of increasing oversight and accountability.

US: Biometrics (Voice) to be Applied in the Wake of Teacher Certification Scam

Details of teacher certification scam uncovered (WMC-TV 5 Memphis, TN)

Ewing confirms one of his workers spotted odd behavior that triggered a 45-count indictment against Clarence Mumford and the de-certification of more than 50 teachers in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.

“The people who serve as our test center supervisors, monitors, and room proctors are our first defense against such things,” Ewing explained.

According to court documents, Mumford hired four co-conspirators to assume the identities of teachers and aspiring teachers who could not pass the PRAXIS teacher certification test.

A PRAXIS worker noticed one person taking the same test several times in one day.

But technology may be the reason it went undetected 15 years.

Investigators say Mumford manufactured fake drivers licenses with his test takers photos and the aspiring teachers’ information.

Ewing says the vast majority of teachers who take the tests are honest, but changes are in store, including biometric voice scanning.

How voice enrollments and matching will work isn’t spelled out. I would have thought that since ID photos were the problem, facial recognition might have helped. I mean, you have one guy with one face who took, and passed, the test like fifty times!

Action News 5 – Memphis, Tennessee

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