Biometric Protection

A bill that would ban some futuristic technology to collect data in schools is moving through the Capitol. Some schools are already using the tech, and they love it.

The technology that was once only seen in futuristic movies is here. Palm readers are being used in some schools in Florida, and lawmakers think the machines have to go.
Rep. Jake Raburn of Hillsborough County says it’s a real unknown. “Your palm scan is something where we don’t know how that it can be used against you.”

Representative Jake Raburn’s bill bans the use of things like palm readers in schools. The legislation wants to protect student privacy and prevent a scenario where someone could hack into a school and get children’s data.

The technology is already in use at some schools to speed up the lunchline

Frances Gilbert of the Florida School Nutrition Association says the technology has successfully been used to expedite payment in packed cafeterias. “If you’ve got 1700 students that you’re trying to move through a lunchline in 30 minutes or less and you’re taking 4 or 5 seconds per student it can eat up that time.”

Steve Swartzel from Pinellas County says the school districts that use it are worried that if the bill becomes a law, they won’t have any time to implement something in place of the biometrics. “We have to get rid of the old system, buy something new or do something different, train everybody and get started to do it the right way.”

Giving schools more time could be on the table as the bill continues its move through the Capitol. “We have one school district that’s using a system that collects biometric information, seeing if there’s a way to be able to logistically move forward.”

Florida’s department of education is supporting the effort to protect children’s privacy.

The biometric ban would go into effect the day the bill becomes a law if it gets to that point. School districts requested at least until the start of next school year to implement something new.


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