In today’s world, biometrics in schools, colleges and other educational institutions is increasingly common.
Biometric technology refers to technologies that measure the behavioral or physiological characteristics of an individual.
Some examples of this type of security technology included retina scanning, hand geometry, facial recognition and fingerprint identification.
The use of this type of security technology has become more common, both privately and publicly.
In recent years, it’s even become quite popular in schools as future biometrics become more commonplace.
A look at biometrics in a public school shows that automated fingerprint systems have become quite popular. Schools are using this technology for cashless catering, school registration and even for students to borrow library books.
One of the benefits of using the fingerprint systems is that the problem of lost cards can be eliminated. For this system to work, the unique features of the fingerprint are scanned and then turned into a template that is saved within the system.
Whenever a person uses the system and places their finger on the scanner, their fingerprint is checked against the template within the system. Then the system identifies and authenticates the individual that has provided their fingerprint.
Some individuals today do have objections to the use of biometrics in public schools. For example, in schools and other educational institutions where fingerprinting is used, some feel that the use of this type of security technology indicates that organizations are suspicious and mistrusting of students, treating them as if they are criminals.
Another concern about the use of fingerprinting and other biometric technology within schools is that younger children will begin feeling comfortable giving up their biometric information without a problem. Some feel that this is working to get young people used to biometric privacy intrusion in the future.
Of course, while some individuals do object to the use of biometrics in schools, others are fond of this new technology in schools and the advantages it has to offer. Of course, most students and their parents are adamant that this biometric information of students should only be used for the specific purposes for which it is collected.
This is why individuals are supportive of biometric applications that use self contained systems so other biometric systems cannot easily retrieve and use the biometric information being used within the system. With the use of biometric security information in the form of templates, it is less likely that this information will be stolen and then used with severe consequences in the future.
Most proponents of using biometrics in schools also feel that the data used within these school systems should be destroyed once it is no longer needed.
Another issue that has brought about quite a bit of debate is the issue of consent when it comes to collecting biometric information from underage students. Some feel that it should be illegal for schools to take this information without the consent of a parent.
If children are allowed to give their own consent, it is difficult to decide when children are fully able to decide how their own biometric information should be used and when they should have the authority to make these decisions.
It is argued that while children might understand the explanation they are given for their biometric data being taken, they may not fully understand or appreciate the implications this move may have in the future.
For schools that plan on using future biometrics systems, it is important to explain why they want to introduce these security systems, how they will use the data collected and how that data will be kept safe. Since this is such a sensitive issue with parents, keeping parents involved in the process is definitely important.
Some parents even hope that schools will use systems where students will be able to use a card instead of a fingerprint, giving individuals the ability to “opt out” of school biometrics without having to give up certain services.
Overall, the topic of biometrics in schools, colleges and other educational institutions continues to be a highly controversial one. While many parents appreciate the benefits of biometric technology, they are not yet comfortable with their children’s biometric data being collected and used with so many issues to consider.
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