By JG Vibes theintelhub.com October 3, 2012
Carroll County is the first district in Maryland, and one of the first in the country to install a PalmSecure system in their schools, which will force students of all ages to place their hands through an infrared scanner to pay for their lunches.
The PalmSecure system is currently operating in three Carroll County elementary schools, but should be in every school within a year and a half.
The palm-reading system will cost a projected $300,000 for installation in all 43 schools in the system, as well as in the central office. The scanner identifies unique palm and vein patterns, and converts the image into an encrypted numeric algorithm that records the lunch sales.
Multiple other schools around the country are also experimenting with the PalmSecure system, including Louisiana, Florida and Mississippi.
The program kicked off last year in the Pinellas County school system in Florida. So far, everywhere that these systems have been rolled out there have been protests from the parents and a widespread rejection of the system.
Carroll County in Maryland has become the newest area hit with this controversy, and this new implementation has brought the debate to a national level, with it now becoming apparent that this is looking to become a nationwide program.
Khaliah Barnes of the open-government counsel with the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said that schools should have allowed parents to opt in to the service, rather than out. “With students, this presents unique privacy threats,”
Barnes said. “We’re talking about elementary school students, and that type of technology can make children less inclined to the rights of privacy. Imagine being tracked from age 8 to age 16, and then a university continues to use it, it becomes old hat and makes them less inclined to recognize privacy threats.”
This point is exactly the problem with these sorts of programs, they are literally training a whole generation of people to be oppressed and spied on by figures of authority.
It is welcoming news that parents are rejecting this, but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be making much of a difference to the school systems. It seems that this is one of those non-negotiable plans that have been ordered by the central government.
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