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Partial fingerprints for school lunch expanding to elementary schools, some concerned

Posted at 4:51 PM, Nov 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-26 18:30:50-05

Some area schools have a way to streamline your child's wait for lunch, but there are concerns among parents since it's going into elementary schools.

For about one year, Gretna Public Schools has used Biometric Technology at their middle school and high school.  Instead of putting in a pin number, or swiping a card, students are able to use a quick touch to get food between classes.  It takes a partial reading of a fingerprint and turns it into a number to identify the child's account so the employee can ring up their lunch.

Gretna informed elementary school parents they'll soon be using the technology.

Some parents aren't happy with the decision, worry about privacy, and wonder why it's an opt-out program instead of an opt-in program.

"Regardless that it says it doesn't store the fingerprint it still has to store some sort of information leading to an identifier saying this is the person who's putting their finger here," said Justin Osterfoss, father of a Gretna elementary school student.

Gretna Public Schools says they've had few concerns over the last year, the fingerprints aren't stored, and if it wasn't safe they wouldn't use it in the schools.

"All the information is stored on our server behind our firewall which is behind the ESU firewall, and even if somebody could hack into it they're going to get they're going to get that long number, not a fingerprint, not a Biometric reading.  None of that is stored," said Rich Beran, Assistant Superintendent at GPS.

Westside Community Schools has used the same technology at their middle school and high school since 2014.

For more information go to the ID Connect Website.