Education: K-12 / Identity Management

Florida Senate Approves Bill Banning Biometrics in Schools

April 13, 2014

A proposal seeking to prevent Florida school systems from collecting students' biometric data has won the support of the Florida Senate.

“The risk of students’ personal information being lost or stolen through the collection and use of biometric data by schools, outweighs any benefit there might be in the schools using it,” said Senator Dorothy Hukill, who spearheaded Bill 188. “We are protecting our students’ futures by ensuring the protection of their biometric information today.”

Under the bill,  schools cannot scan kids’ fingerprints, eyes and other “biometric information." The bill also lays out a process to assign all public-school students in Florida an identification number, instead.

The Secure Identity & Biometrics Association (SIBA) opposes the bill. In a statement, SIBA said: “the Senate vote is based on misunderstood science and penalizes the entire state because two districts out of 67 counties failed to follow simple and obvious program protocols. As a result, sensible biometric program implementation that includes these protocols in places like Miami-Dade are threatened because legislators believe that using biometrics to keep kids safe on buses and well fed in the lunchroom could lead to identity theft. It is a myth that identity theft and biometrics go hand-in-hand. Biometrics helps prevent identity theft. I should know. I drafted the digital federal criminal identity theft law signed by President Clinton in 1998 and used by federal prosecutors to go after identity thieves,” SIBA is a huge supporter of protecting identity, and biometrics are key to that.”

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