Biometric system safe & convenient


A graphic showing how the identiMetric Fingerscan system works.

Kalani High School is now using a Biometric Identification System for students to buy lunch. The Biometric System scans certain parts of your finger to create individual models that identify each student.

According to a letter from the Hawaii Dept. of Education, this system is an effort to provide accurate identification and security for students’ accounts and ensure that others cannot charge items to others’ account.

“No fingerprint is saved and none can be re-created,” Anne Marie Dunphy, a chief financial officer of identiMetrics, said.

She was also asked about privacy concerns.

“Traditional school ID card has more identifying information, including photos and names,” Dunphy said. “The same goes for yearbooks.”

The decision to try the Biometric System was made by the school, not by the DOE and principals use school funds to buy the system.

“It’s a lot easier than having to bring out your ID every time you have to eat,” Tiana Chu (9).

According to Dunphy, identiMetric’s co-founder, it costs about $1,500 for the biometric engine and $600 for each scan location with a 20 percent annual fee for licensing and support.  

The fingerprint scans are stored in a school database and protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the DOE said in a letter to parents. When a student no longer uses the Biometric System, their scan will be deleted from the system.

“It is very convenient,” Reign La France (9) said. “It is a lot faster and easier when I don’t have to be looking in my bag for the card or when people in line don’t have to stop the line since they’re looking for their card. Overall it’s a great piece of technology.”