Carroll County’s Brave New School Lunches

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In three Carroll County elementary schools the old-fashioned an inefficient act of physically handing physical money to a cashier in the school cafeteria has been swapped out for a more modern biometric palm scan — a student holds her hands above an infrared scanner which “identifies unique palm and vein patterns, and converts the image into an encrypted numeric algorithm that records a sale.”

Some find the new system a little too dystopian-chic, and 20 percent of parents have opted out of the program. As the Baltimore Sun reports, the privacy concerns raised by such a system are particularly pointed when you consider the young age of the palm-scanned. Khaliah Barnes, of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, told the Sun, “We’re talking about elementary school students, and that type of technology can make children less inclined to the rights of privacy.”

Infrared palm scanners should make their way into all Carroll County elementary schools within a year and a half.


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