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Premature iris scanning stops Florida school district school bus safety system


A flurry of confusion around parental consent and the completion of a contract has prevented Stanley Convergent Security Solutions from deploying an iris-scanning pilot project for the Polk County School District in Florida.

Specifically, the county district was looking to contract Stanley to install a system which scanned the irises of school children while getting on or off of school buses, following the trial of two other systems: one based on fingerprint scans and the other, RFID chip cards.

According to a report in TheLedger.com, by the time parents were notified of the pilot project, nearly 1,000 children’s irises had already been scanned by Stanley, though the company  has told the district that the collected biometric data has since been deleted. This hasn’t been enough for some of the district’s parents who fear that nothing can be fully deleted.

As a result of the parental concern, the school district is no longer considering a biometric system.

Last year, BlinkSpot, in conjunction with 3M Cogent, launched its own iris-scanning system to track children on school buses. 

In addition, Fujitsu Frontech North America, with T&W Operations launched Kidtrack, a palm vein-based access control system for school buses. 

With many applications for schools, biometric systems are attractive to administrators, though have proven themselves problematic with many parents, concerned for the privacy of their children’s biometric information.

BiometricUpdate.com recently investigated the debate around biometrics in schools, in particular, for cafeteria payment systems. 

Reported previously, starting in September 2013, schools in England will be banned from collection students’ biometric data without parental consent.

According to the Department of Education, 30 percent of secondary schools and five percent of primary schools in the country use fingerprinting or facial recognition to record attendance, enable students to borrow library books, pay for lunch of access certain buildings within school systems.


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