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Hammondsport school will digitally scan fingerprints

HAMMONDSPORT—The Hammondsport Central School District is working on implementing fingerprint scanning as a way for students to pay for lunches.
Superintendent Kyle Bower explained it would be an alternative option to students using ID cards, which is currently used. Like using the card, a student would scan their finger and the account would appear on the cashier’s monitor. He said it is technology already at the school, but hasn’t been used yet.
Bower added no copy of the student’s fingerprint would be kept by the school. Instead, the computer would match 30 to 60 different points on the fingerprint when the student scans his or her finger to pay for lunch.
He said when the information is put into the system, the student’s finger will be scanned. However, unlike in traditional fingerprinting, the initial scan would be to find the points needed for identification. He said parents would be able to opt out children from the scanning.
Bower said the district would do some trial runs and that fingerprint scanning should start to be used in September. He said in the coming months parents would be finding out about the technology, and if they had questions could call the school.  Bower added he was not aware of any other schools in the area using this technology.
Using fingerprint scanning in schools has come against opposition in other states. The most common concern is privacy and identity theft. However, Bower explained there would be no records kept of actual fingerprints.

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