EBR Schools “Touch ‘n Go Scanning in the Cafeteria

Nov. 9 2016

Biometric Finger Scanning: Myths and Facts

    • This system uses reference points derived from a finger scan to create a template of points based on the fingerprint to verify student identity by associating the template with the student’s existing student number.
    • The system then scrubs the fingerprint data by overwriting it.
    • This template is then encrypted and stored as a series of zeros and ones on the computer.
    • This system is much more secure than the alternatives of a number being called out or a card which can be stolen or lost.
    • Nutrition Services is offering this as an optional alternative to the numbers and cards previously used.
    • Students not participating in finger scanning will go through the line along with those using the finger scan and will only be differentiated when their name is used to access their lunch account.

Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does the system store an image of my fingerprint?
No, only an encrypted, digital representation of the specific points of the fingerprint is stored, not the image, which is discarded after the feature extraction. The finger-scan cannot be turned back into a fingerprint.

2. What are the advantages of identification?
The biggest advantage is that the students will no longer need to carry a card or remember a number that can be forgotten, stolen, lost or easily used by another student.

3. Will this system be in place in all schools at the beginning of the new school year?
Ten schools piloted the finger scanning process in May 2009 with the remaining school sites phased in during the fall semester.

4. How often will the scanner be cleaned? Doesn’t this increase the risk of spreading disease?
The cafeteria staff will keep wipes at the counter to clean the scanners. The scanner will be cleaned between each lunch period, which is much even more
sanitary than any door knob, desk, water cooler, restroom facilities, etc.

5. What is the difference between finger-scan biometrics and automated fingerprint identification systems (AFIS)?
Biometric finger scan systems are designed to identify persons who want to be identified in order to access a personal account such as a meal account. AFIS is designed to identify persons who are trying to hide their identity.

6. Will this system create problems for students with special needs or an injured finger?
Because EBR utilizes student name lookup as an alternative to the finger scan, students with special needs or finger injuries will have no problem accessing their lunch account.

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