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Monday, July 14, 2014

Emery Schools Awards Contract for Children's Bio-Metric Scan Data to Corporate Entity

For Profit Third Party Corporation to Control Our Children's Permanent Bio Data

Emery Asks: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 

News Analysis
It would appear Big Brother is set to arrive this August at an Emery school near you.  If he's not quite here yet, he's busy setting up shop.  That's because the Emery Unified School District has announced to parents that they are handing over to Fujitsu USA, the world's third largest IT service provider,  the contract to bio-metrically scan and store the children's palm data as they que up for lunches this coming school year starting in August.  It's all to save money the School District says but it's a slippery slope for children's personal privacy rights says the American Civil Liberties Union and concerned parents.

A spokesperson for Emery says the bio scan near-infrared palm blood vein readers will improve the speed of the lunch lines and the accuracy of lunch counts and sales.  They maintain Fujitsu, a corporation that partners with thousands of independent software vendors, consultants and systems integrators in its cloud based platform, will not store the children's information for anytime more than each discreet lunch period.  Emery didn't elaborate on how Fujitsu will know who is who day to day among the children without bio database storage however.
Do kindergarteners understand the risks associated
with giving a for profit corporation their permanent
bio-metric signatures? 

Some aren't convinced about the promises of confidentiality coming from the School District on behalf of Fujitsu Inc.
Bio-metric data is notoriously unchangeable.  If it happens that the unique characteristics used for bio-metric authentication are compromised, the affected person has no possibility for revocation or to get new ones issued.  In addition, bio-metric databases themselves can be considered a threat to privacy.  Such data may be used as unique identifiers and thus enable linking to other databases for purposes of profiling.  For instance bio-metric data may be used to identify health risks which may raise future desires for access to the data by health insurance companies, banks and advertising.
Fujitsu says they can be trusted with our
children's bio-scan data forever.  As a corporation,
they will be able to resist temptation to use the data
for something else even if it will increase profits.
Emery Unified stands by them.

Chris Calabrese, legislative counsel for the ACLU in Washington said of the palm scanners in general, "If it's a technology that works really well, it won't be long before you're offering your palm in a lot of different locations, and you will be concerned about who's got access to that information and what they want to do with it."  One parent in another school district said of the lunchtime school lunch bio scanners proliferating in school districts across California, "I understand taking an iris scan of a pilot at an airport so you know who's flying the plane.  This is that level of equipment they're installing in a line that serves steamed corn".

  Emery says parents will be allowed to opt their children out of the bio scanner system by filling out a form available at the schools.
The District didn't say how much money they are paying to Fujitsu to set up the new system but in a letter to parents about the Fujitsu contract they noted they look forward to "the benefits this new technology will provide to Emery children."


  1. "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." Revelation 13:16-17.

  2. We will be opting out I guarantee it. We can afford this but not a PE teacher or music teacher. Fantastic and what a way to attract more students and families to our district. What a brilliant school board.

  3. funding the music department and replacing the music teacher after the sad passing of mr. carraway was supposed to come from measure a, the school parcel tax passed in 2003. what is the pto doing about this?

    the july 21 issue of the christian science monitor has an excellent article (go to about the firebaugh, california school district using their rooftops for solar energy to provide funding for their music department. "multiple studies have shown that music does help students academically across the board, from enhanced physical dexterity and early language development to better test scores...schools have begun to notice how much visual and performing arts build students character..."

    lack of money is no excuse in this case.

  4. PTO? Since when has the Board or Principals promoted and supported anything like that? Or were you being glib?