IBIA issues statement in opposition of Florida’s recently-passed Bill 188

May 15, 2014 - 

The International Biometrics & Identification Association has issued a statement in regards to Florida Governor Rick Scott’s recent signing of Bill 188 into law.

Bill 188 prohibits the collection of student biometric information in K-12 schools in Florida.

“This legislation prevents Florida’s public schools from realizing the many benefits that biometrics can provide to student safety and security as well as enhanced productivity of school operations,” Robert Harbour, the IBIA’s Chairman said in the group’s published statement.

The IBIA continues to say that it believes that the law is a “misguided attempt to protect student privacy and sets a bad precedent by broadly prohibiting the use of an innovative and beneficial technology.”

“In today’s world, virtually everything depends on knowing with a high degree of assurance ‘who’ we are dealing with. This is especially important in our schools where children, our most vulnerable population, spend most of their days.”

“Cards can be lost or stolen or shared; ID numbers and passwords are easily forgotten, especially for younger students,” The group’s statement notes. “As for relying on visually looking at students, no one can remember all the students that come and go in a school.”

Reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, In addition to the banning of biometric data collection in schools, Bill 188 mandates that the Department of Education assign Florida Student Numbers to replace the use of social security numbers to manage school records.

This particular bill has re-ignited the debate surrounding children and biometric identification, and more specifically, the use of biometrics in school. BiometricUpdate.com recently took a close look at the issue and the debate on both sides. Read the full feature here.  

Cafeteria payments have been a particular area of focus for this conversation, and BiometricUpdate.com has also looked at the discourse through this lens. 

SIBA CEO Janice Kephart is an advocate for the use of biometric technology in schools and recently submitted a blog on the topic.

The passing of this bill makes Florida the first U.S. state to ban the collection of student biometric data.

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About Adam Vrankulj

Adam Vrankulj is an editor for BiometricUpdate.com. His background consists of online news writing, editing and content marketing. Adam has written for CBCNews.ca, BlogTO and was the editor and curator for the nextMEDIA and CIX Source publications. He has a degree in journalism and is passionate about science, technology and social innovation. Contact Adam, or follow him at @adamvrankulj