School wants to fingerprint the pupils!

(51 Posts)
CrazyforCrochet Tue 14-Jun-16 19:55:39

My DD got home from school today and showed me a letter that said they want to introduce a fingerprinting ID for school meals. Has anyone else out there heard of such a thing?! At the moment they have photo cards with a contactless chip that identifies them and ties in with an online account for school meals. They say that too many pupils are loosing them and so they want to bring in a "Biometric System" and use pupils' fingerprints to identify them and their lunch money account. I just don't like the idea of it at all - my DD being fingerprinted!
You can opt out of course. I wonder how much this system is costing the school too - it cannot be cheap. I don't see how they think this will be cheaper than replacing lost dinner cards as they charge pupils £2 a time to replace them anyway. What do other mums think of it?

noblegiraffe Tue 14-Jun-16 19:57:02

My school has introduced this and it works brilliantly; they can't forget their finger! It's pretty quick too.

DrownedGirl Tue 14-Jun-16 19:57:04

The fingerprints aren't stored - only as an algorithm. It's called biometrics, very common.

MaximumVolume Tue 14-Jun-16 19:58:17

I don't think the system is that expensive; my child's nursery has fingerprint entry on the gate (and my iPad can be unlocked using my fingerprint, too).

I'd probably not give it a second thought about them having my child's fingerprint on record, possibly I should, though? What worries you?

Wolfiefan Tue 14-Jun-16 19:58:28

My son has this at his school. They don't fingerprint them. It's a thumb print.
We can put money on his account. He can spend it. No one can steal his lunch money and he can't lose it! We can check online whether he's buying chips everyday or salad and see what money is left. He can't spend his lunch money on sweets on the way to school. I don't need to find change or remember to give him money each day.
So I like it.

justbogoff Tue 14-Jun-16 19:59:15

Yes, it's fairly common and works really well.

Patterkiller Tue 14-Jun-16 19:59:25

Yes had it here for a few years. Works well and you will have had a letter to explain the fingerprints are not stored.

almostthirty Tue 14-Jun-16 20:00:28

It's a very common system and it's great as it means you never forget the card. Dc nursery have it to allow you access to the building.

Lilliana Tue 14-Jun-16 20:01:06

We use it in our school library - much easier than fiddling around with cards. You can't recreate the finger prints from the system and they are deleated when the child leaves. I'm sure they have an explanation available if you want to know how they are storing the fingerprint info.

OddBoots Tue 14-Jun-16 20:02:44

We've had this for years, as a PP says the actual print isn't stored, it is an algorithm produced from the print that cannot be backwards regenerated so it's as safe as possible. Loads of schools have done it very successfully , much less stress than cards.

RavioliOnToast Tue 14-Jun-16 20:03:10

My brothers school uses this. It lets you see what they've had to eat aswell

RunRabbitRunRabbit Tue 14-Jun-16 20:03:40

We've had it for years. It is brilliant. It is much cheaper than producing cards. More reliable too. No one can bully your child into handing over their finger print. They can't forget their finger. Perfect.

That system will keep your DD's data a million times more secure than the phone and social media I bet you let her use. Public selfie anyone?

Balletgirlmum Tue 14-Jun-16 20:05:13

Yes ds has this system too. There is no opt out. If you opt out then you simply can't buy any food or drink at school.

danadas Tue 14-Jun-16 20:05:55

My daughter's school use this system for lunches and my son's for the library. It works really well and I have no concerns about its use.

HamaTime Tue 14-Jun-16 20:05:56

Ds has this for library and canteen. It works really well. It is probably a ballache for the school if kids are losing their cards, even if they do have to stump up the £2.

SuburbanRhonda Tue 14-Jun-16 20:08:18

So, OP, has that reassured you of do you still have doubts?

exLtEveDallas Tue 14-Jun-16 20:08:54

Yep very common and not an issue. Library and canteen is the most popular use, but the local high school also uses it for entry into the sports hall/gymnasium and IT suites.

NeckguardUnbespoke Tue 14-Jun-16 20:09:00

The system is secure against a risk that it's used to get fingerprints for police or other purposes.

Firstly, the prints are low quality. The readers are cheap stuff like your iPhone has, so any two children whose prints are adjacent won't be reliably distinguished.

Secondly, more importantly, the results are hashed. Explaining secure hashes (either theoretically as en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random_oracle random oracle or concretely in terms of real functions) is hard, and a well-formed question will catch MSc students out, but the low-resolution prints are stored in a way which means that even the low resolution versions can't be recovered. That unfortunately means it also doesn't work in large deployments, or may not work today even if it worked yesterday, as two people with very different fingerprints may hash to the same value (for crypto nerds, the systems discard most of the hash, so store about 12 bits or something).

I do yelling about privacy for a living, and I understand the crypto intimately. I was fine with my kids using these systems.

DrownedGirl Tue 14-Jun-16 20:09:29

www.fastrak.co.uk/news/2014/helping-parents-understand-biometric-cashless-systems-in-schools/

unweavedrainbow Tue 14-Jun-16 20:13:13

We had this when I was at school over 10 years ago. It's not new and it works really well.

CotswoldStrife Tue 14-Jun-16 20:15:26

DD's primary school use this for the library.

ShatnersBassoon Tue 14-Jun-16 20:18:05

This is hardly new, and certainly nothing to be suspicious of. It won't be a Custody Officer capturing the image.

It makes life easier for everyone.

AnotherUsernameBitesTheDust Tue 14-Jun-16 20:18:59

My DSs school use this for lunch and the library. When my older son was there they had cards. Cards could be left at home, lost or stolen - no lunch.

At least their hands can't be left behind. The only time they've gone without lunch was when I forgot to top their money up. blush

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Tue 14-Jun-16 20:19:50

Such hysteria over bloody biometrics 😂😂😂

blinkowl Tue 14-Jun-16 20:20:03

NeckguardUnbespoke that's interesting, I had no idea that was how these kinds of things worked. I thought it was just storing fingerprints same as the police would. No one has asked for any of ours yet, but I know what questions to ask now if they do, thanks.

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