palm vein, point of sale, schools

Maryland school halts biometric deployment in lunchrooms

Controversial Carroll school palm scanners discontinued (Baltimore Sun)

School Superintendent Stephen Guthrie announced his decision Wednesday to halt use of the system, called PalmSecure, and to ask officials to look at other options. His announcement came after a meeting with County Commissioner Doug Howard, who cited concerns among parents who worried about possible security breaches.

In announcing his decision, Guthrie said he wanted to avoid alienating what he called a “core group” of a few community members who raised the concerns.

He said he believes the system is secure.

Cases like this are fairly rare.

School administrators should be prepared for a vocal minority to raise security and privacy concerns.

In most cases where schools implement biometric point of sale terminals for school lunch administration, these concerns are overcome for the vast majority of parents through good communication, an opt-out mechanism and making sure that students aren’t enrolled in a system before parents have heard about it.

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