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Fingerprint Scanner used for Welsh High School Access


Amidst criticism surrounding the use of biometrics in schools, a north Wales high school has fingerprinted its pupils in order to manage access in school premises.

As reported by Info4Security, the school has two separate buildings on the site.  While the buildings are accessible to all pupils, there are portions that only staff and sixth form only can access such as the main entrance and access to an adjoining education college.

According to the school’s headteacher, Naylan Southorn, “Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan … is a very large school, spread over several sites with multiple entry/exit points,” he said. “This has always posed a significant access and security problem for us, with students, staff and visitors alike.  Our existing swipe card system was providing to be inadequate for need and increasingly difficult to maintain.”

Spider Technologies, an installation company, which was commissioned by the school to look into the school’s access control problem, has chosen i-Evo Ultimate Reader after its managing director Steve Jones saw the product at IFSEC, the international fire and security event.

i-Evo Ultimate Reader is an easy to use interface software that complements any existing software.  It can be use internally or externally with its external flush having a built-in heater system that can operate at -20 degrees centigrade.  Moreover, i-Evo external reader need not have to be mounted in a case or box like readers. It is manufactured in Polycarbonate ABS, the fingerprint sensor encased within toughened glass and it is IP 65 rated.  It is easy to use, quick and convenient which fits perfectly for purpose as an access control system.

For headteacher Southorn, “The rapid installation of the i-Evo Ultimate fingerprint readers has proved to be a tremendous success, immediately solving all of our access and security problems in one fell swoop.”

Responding to criticism on the use of fingerprint scanning in schools, i-Evo posted that they welcome the decision to include parents and guardians in the setting up process of i-Evo fingerprint biometrics in schools.  They emphasized however, “although the fingerprint is scanned, it is not stored as an actual image and is not linked to any external databases. In fact, when the fingerprint is transformed into a mathematical pattern, if this was to be presented and matched alongside a Police database for example, there would be no link whatsoever. The pattern produced for i-Evo can only be used with i-Evo.”

Should students have to use fingerprint verification to access school facilities? 

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