The Poudre Colorado School District is piloting a biometrics program to restructure its free-meal efforts throughout its elementary, middle, and high schools—and ultimately—cut down on lunch lines.
Students will be able to scan a thumbprint to confirm their identification when getting their school lunch. The district is partnering with identiMetrics to implement this initiative, and will be holding student biometric information on school premises. The program is strictly voluntary for students.
Getting up to Speed
Currently, when students checkout at lunch, they have to enter an ID number into a computer system using a keyboard, which takes time. The implementation of biometrics will aim to speed up this process.
According to BiometricUpdate.com, if the pilot is successful, the Poudre Colorado School District will plan to launch it officially during the 2023-2024 school year.”
Privacy Is Still a Concern
When talking about biometrics, privacy and security are nearly always top-of-mind. And this does raise the question of whether students’ biometric information should be captured at all.
In the past, privacy concerns were mainly related to the collection of personal information such as names, addresses, and social security numbers. However, with the rise of biometric technology, privacy concerns have shifted to the collection and use of biometric data. This is because biometric data is unique to each individual and can be used to identify them without their knowledge or consent.
One of the major concerns with the use of biometric data is the potential for it to be hacked or stolen. If someone gains access to a person’s biometric data, they could use it for identity theft or other malicious purposes. Indeed, this happened recently in Denver, when employee fingerprints were stolen from Denver Public Schools.
While this is an area to keep a watchful eye on, there’s no doubt that biometrics are gaining prominence throughout the economy, especially when they can substitute for passwords that are difficult to remember. In the case of this school district, it may be that students forget their school ID numbers, which causes difficulties in implementing their lunch system.