Fingerprints for food

To speed cafeteria lines, three elementary schools near Santa Barbara will scan fingerprints of students before they buy lunch.

The scan will call up the student’s name and student ID, teacher’s name and how much the student owes, since some receive government assistance for food.

I guess the theory is that students may lose an ID card but they’re not likely to lose their fingers. Parents think it’s a tad Orwellian.

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  1. Wayne Martin says:

    Fingerprint payment systems are making their way into supermarkets:

    This week, Pay By Touch Solutions, a San Francisco-based firm whose system allows customers to pay at participating grocery stores with the press of a finger, announced that investors have pledged $130 million to fund the company’s expansion plans. And, rival BioPay has already enrolled more than 2 million people into its service for cashing payroll checks and paying at the supermarket checkout.

    Paying by fingerprint is a hit with consumers, because people want convenience and faster check outs, said Shannon Reardon, director of marketing for Pay By Touch.

    Haven’t seen one in my community yet, but they do sound convenient. Another aspect of this technology is that fewer people are needed in food services, which can be a money loser if the Food Services operation isn’t too inspired.

  2. Gives new meaning to the term “finger food.”

  3. I suppose also in some districts where there are lots of students with food allergies, that information could pop up on the screen – like, “do not let this child have fish under any circumstances.”

    (I suppose that also opens up the door to “this kids’ BMI is too high, only let him have rabbit food” as well)

  4. ran into a pediatric office with one of these, to my horror. in a few years, randomly spreading biometric data will be recognized as short-sighted as widely spreading your social security number around. the only difference is that in an emergency, one could demand a new social security number. Convenient but a road to hell.

  5. Walter E. Wallis says:

    You can lose a finger, but not an implant.
    As long as there are scammers, those charged with administering distribution will seek ways to keep the scammers out. A pity, the boodlers and scammers have brought us to tamperproof bottles, packaging that defies entry and checks that only crooks can cash.

  6. Wayne Martin says:

    Here’s a WEB-site of a bio-metric cafeteria system:

    There’s a short video that demonstrates the system.

  7. Will this discourage bullies from stealing lunch money? Or will they start carrying bolt-cutters? (“Cash or your finger…”)

    If anything, Chris is understating the problems with casual use of biometrics. School systems and doctor’s offices will be hacked.