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Colorado school district launches biometrics pilot for free lunches

Colorado school district launches biometrics pilot for free lunches
 

The Poudre (Colo.) School District (PSD) is launching a biometrics pilot program to see if it can make the distribution of free lunches to students more efficient.

The fingerprint pilot program is expected to be implemented between running by May 25 at elementary, middle and high schools to increase checkout speed, allowing PSD to better operate its free-meal program, the school district says. The new scans will take around two seconds, according to the announcement.

The pilot will use identiMetrics scanners, replacing the keyboard students now use to enter their ID number in lunch lines.

identiMetrics’ software integrates with the district’s point-of-sale system.

Students fingerprints will be stored locally by PSD. Participation in the pilot will be on an opt-out basis. If tests are successful, the system will go live across the district during the 2023-2024 school year.

This news comes shortly after Denver Public Schools suffered a security breach between December 13 and January 13. An unauthorized actor made off with employee fingerprint biometrics and other personal information including social security, driver’s license and passport numbers; health plan information and student IDs.

The breach was made public shortly after the UK’s data protection authority declared a face biometrics deployment for school lunch distribution in Scotland was likely illegal, failing to meet the requirements of the UK GDPR.

An American safe schools group recently updated its best practices guide to address concerns around the privacy and data security of biometrics implementations in schools.

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