Fingerprint scans smooth lunch lines but raise privacy concerns

In the post 911 world, are kids being raised to accept invasive technology without a second thought?
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor

Remember when teachers had to pin papers to kids' shirts to make sure parents received them? Who knows what would've happened to those important communiques if it weren't for those pins. Remembering things just got a little bit easier for forgetful students, reports The Associated Press because students can leave the lunch money at home—now they can just scan their fingers.

Schools in Rome, Ga. are installing the latest high-tech scanning devices that allow students to access their accounts via a fingerprint scan. They can even forget the pin number.

"The finger's better because all you've got to do is put your finger in, and you don't have to do the number and get mixed up," said Adrianna Harris, a second grader at Anna K. Davie Elementary School.

Administrators are happy because it speeds up lunch lines, smooths any record-keeping glitches and creates anonymity for the students.

Rome City schools are phasing in the scanning system in the high, middle and elementary schools. The system should be up and running next month.

While administrators are quite pleased with the new system, it is not without its critics. Parents have raised concerns about whether their kids' literally personal information is secure.

"It may be perfectly secure, but my daughter is a minor and I understand that supposedly the kids have the option to not have their prints scanned, but that's not being articulated to my daughter," said Hal Storey, who's daughter is a 10th grader at Rome High.
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