Three Polk County, Florida schools subjected their students to iris scans without their parents’ permission. A high school, middle school and even an elementary school were involved in the iris scans. It looks like a child told a parent what had happened, and the parent blew the whistle on the whole thing.
It was confirmed Wednesday that Daniel Jenkins Academy, (high school), Davenport School of the Arts (middle school), and Bethune Academy (elementary school), planned a pilot scan program with a security program and the schools allowed officials from Stanley Convergent Security Solutions to take iris scans of an unknown number of students. Parents of the students were sent a letter on Friday, May 24, although the letters were dated for delivery the day before. The letters stated that the scanning program would begin on May 20, and allow for students to opt out. However, all students were scanned before any letters were sent home.
This Facebook post from one of the parents states:
I have been in touch with the principal at my son’s school this morning regarding the iris scans. She verified everything my son told me, she says the scans were completed on May 22. She said that she was following instructions from the Polk County School Board (PCSB), and that she knew very little, if anything, about this before it occurred, she just did as she was told. She gave me the name and number for her two contacts at the PCSB whom she said were pulling these strings on this “security pilot program”.
By the time we were able to make a phone call to PCSB (a time span of about 1 hour), the secretary told us that this pilot program had been suspended. When we did get a return call from one contact, she reiterated that the program has been suspended, like this should appease us. My husband continued to ask where our son’s private scans were, and she said the company was instructed to destroy the information. When we asked how do we know this has happened, there was no answer.
It is interesting that this letter went home on Friday afternoon at 3pm. Like I told you originally, everyone was gone by 4pm when I tried to make calls. So when exactly did this program get suspended? As of Friday afternoon, it was still in effect. Are they trying to say that somehow it was suspended by Tuesday morning (Monday being a holiday)? It seems like they are mostly focused on this program, like the program was the problem. It’s not, it’s the invasion of my family’s Constitutional right to privacy that is the problem, as well as the school allowing a private company access to my child without my consent or permission. This is stolen information, and we cannot retrieve it.
Last September in Park City Utah, DNA samples were taken from high school students. The High School has apparently agreed to participate in a study where students will give DNA samples to a lab as an outbreak drill to test new lab equipment. The purpose is that in the future, they may want to determine how new H1N1 type diseases are spreading. The teens were bribed with a chance to win an iPad, then earlier this year they had the teens wearing biometric bracelets and bribed them with $15 iTunes gift cards.
In other disturbing yet similar news, look at what technology will soon be available. Can we say, Too Invasive?!
Motorola has announced it is looking at alternatives to traditional passwords in a bid to make logging into online sites, or accessing mobile phones, more secure.
Among the ideas discussed are electronic tattoos and authentication pills that people swallow.
The tattoos, developed by Massachusetts-based engineering firm MC10, contain flexible electronic circuits that are attached to the wearer’s skin using a rubber stamp.
The mobile devices could then be used to confirm the owner’s identity and log them in to accounts automatically.
Once swallowed the ‘vitamin authentication pill’ creates an 18-bit ECG-like signal inside the wearer’s body that can be picked up by mobile devices and authentication hardware outside.
This could be used verify the wearer is the correct owner of the device or account.
Dugan continued that the pill could be taken every day for 30 days, if necessary, without any problems.
Woodside added Motorola would not be shipping these ‘right away’ but they have ‘tested it authenticating a phone, and it works.’
He continued: ‘Having the boldness to think differently about problems that everybody has every day is really important for Motorola now.’
Dugan, who used to be head of the US Pentagon’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, explained that each signal emitted by the pill could be unique to each user.
Both these ideas move away from traditional passwords and towards technology that turns the user into a physical authentication token.
Explaining the reasons behind the plans, Dugan said: ‘Authentication is irritating. In fact its so irritating only about half the people do it.