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Author Topic: Yet Another Privacy Violation - This time it's about kids  (Read 2654 times)

Renegade

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Yet Another Privacy Violation - This time it's about kids
« on: October 05, 2012, 12:01:10 PM »
While the tech here is pretty darn cool, and I think it would make a great form of 2-part authentication for the front door locks, this particular use is scary:

http://www.baltimore...1002,0,7431956.story



Quote
Instead of paying for their lunches with crumpled dollar bills and loose change, students in Carroll County schools are having their palms scanned in a new check-out system — raising concerns from some parents that their children's privacy is being violated.

The county is one of the first localities in Maryland to use the PalmSecure system, in which children from kindergarten to 12th grade place their hands above an infrared scanner. It identifies unique palm and vein patterns, and converts the image into an encrypted numeric algorithm that records a sale.

Though the school system does not store those images, some parents have complained about the implications of having their children's hands scanned. About 20 percent of parents have declined to participate in the program, said supervisor of food services Karen Sarno.

"I didn't appreciate how they handled it," said Mike Richmond, who has two children at Westminster's Cranberry Elementary School. He said that the school scanned their hands before sending the opt-out form. "I'm concerned about it. I know it's the way of the future, but it's fingerprinting, it's palm-printing."

School officials defend the system, noting that the algorithm is the only piece of data stored; it is used to identify a child's account. If students opt out of the service, they give their names to the cashier, who manually charges their accounts.

Sarno said the school system's goal is to decrease the time between transactions. Children have limited time to eat lunch, she said, and she often hears complaints that children don't like waiting in a long line.

"We're doing whatever we can to reduce that line wait and make the queue better," she said.

...

The palm-reading system will cost a projected $300,000, according to Sarno, for installation of software and hardware in all 43 schools in the system, as well as in the central office.

Storing is irrelevant - the kids' handprints need to be in the database for authentication... And the opt-out is AFTERWARDS! When it comes to things like sex, there's another word for getting consent "afterwards".

Ahem... *cough* operant *cough* conditioning *cough*

Maybe my sig below should read something like:

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Deozaan

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Re: Yet Another Privacy Violation - This time it's about kids
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2012, 05:08:06 PM »
Scanning a palm is faster than carrying around a card that can be swiped or waved in front of an RFID scanner?  :huh:


40hz

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Re: Yet Another Privacy Violation - This time it's about kids
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2012, 05:58:56 PM »
At least you can throw the card away
Storing is irrelevant - the kids' handprints need to be in the database for authentication... And the opt-out is AFTERWARDS! When it comes to things like sex, there's another word for getting consent "afterwards".

Ahem... *cough*

+1 :Thmbsup:

Anything that goes into a government database, especially if it's administered by an outside contractor (see Plausible Deniability) is kept somewhere forever. Even officially expunged or sealed records. It just depends on who is asking to see them that determines whether or not they still "exist." (I know this first hand.)

And "opt out" or asked to be removed? You can't even get Google or Facebook to do that. You really think the powers that be are going to go along with a request (note it's merely "a request" btw) to remove your data from one of their systems? Dream on! Privacy after the fact is not an option.

And operant conditioning? Well...it worked for the Janissaries, it worked for various nationalist "youth movements" sponsored by repressive regimes, and it can work for us! What is considered "acceptable" is mostly what people have gotten used to. And what better place to learn to accept being scanned...and "chipped"...and fingerprinted...and photographed...and monitored on cameras (and that laptop they gave you) than in your hometown's public school system.

Remember - all of this is being done for YOUR PROTECTION. Hey! What are you - some kind of terrorist? No? Then why not just suck it up and get with the program, ok?

:tellme:
« Last Edit: October 05, 2012, 06:04:11 PM by 40hz »

app103

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Re: Yet Another Privacy Violation - This time it's about kids
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2012, 08:08:18 PM »
Most of these kids had their fingerprints in a database before this came along. Local police departments run campaigns every year to fingerprint children, in case they are ever abducted. Most parents do not opt out.

Schools photograph all children, every year, and the only "opt out" available is to not pay for the school pics package when they arrive, and just send them back to the school. A parent can not say "do not photograph my child". The child is still photographed, the school still has a copy of the photo, and in most cases every child in the class is given not only their own picture, but also a class picture featuring every child in their class, including the children that "opted out" by not paying. Often school ID cards are issued, using the official school photo. This is also the photo used in the yearbooks.

This photographing business has been going on for longer than I have been alive, with very few changes to how it is implemented. My daughter was photographed this way, and so was I, and my father, and my grandmother before him. I have an aunt that owns a restaurant that used to be a one room schoolhouse, and one wall is decorated with class photos of students that went to school there, with most being over 100 years old.

I think the time to put up a fuss about the photographing is long passed and would prove to be rather futile, today.

And I am not too sure it would be wise to put up a fuss about the palm scanning, either. It is for the protection of the children, and not merely for convenience. You might not understand my point of view unless you were bullied, beaten up, and had your lunch money/tickets stolen as a child. A single act is a multiple assault whose effects do not ever entirely go away, first with an act of violence when the money/tickets are taken, then again when you have to go hungry every day for a week, and then again every day when you are going to/from school from the fear of being attacked again. I still hold my breath when going under a certain bridge, even as an adult in the safety of a car, because of what happened there when I was about 8 years old.

A bully can't steal your palm.

Krishean

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Re: Yet Another Privacy Violation - This time it's about kids
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2012, 08:29:45 PM »
Most of these kids had their fingerprints in a database before this came along. Local police departments run campaigns every year to fingerprint children, in case they are ever abducted. Most parents do not opt out.

...

A bully can't steal your palm.

On the first topic, I remember when I was a kid in the scouts, they had some "class" about fingerprinting, where one of the local police officers talked about how it works, and went around and fingerprinted each person on a card. Back then I was excited to get a card with my fingerprints on it, but I never recieved it and was disappointed. Later on I realized that it may not have been a class at all and they may have been tricking all the kids into getting fingerprinted. Kind of a underhanded tactic with no way to opt out at all. Had I known that I was not going to get the card and that they were going to keep it I probably would have refused.

On the second topic, its also much harder to lose or forget to bring your hand with you than it is for a small rectangular piece of plastic...
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

- Arthur C. Clarke

wraith808

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Re: Yet Another Privacy Violation - This time it's about kids
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2012, 08:30:47 PM »
And I am not too sure it would be wise to put up a fuss about the palm scanning, either. It is for the protection of the children, and not merely for convenience. You might not understand my point of view unless you were bullied, beaten up, and had your lunch money/tickets stolen as a child. A single act is a multiple assault whose effects do not ever entirely go away, first with an act of violence when the money/tickets are taken, then again when you have to go hungry every day for a week, and then again every day when you are going to/from school from the fear of being attacked again. I still hold my breath when going under a certain bridge, even as an adult in the safety of a car, because of what happened there when I was about 8 years old.

A bully can't steal your palm.

Very good points.  I was of a different mind... but reading your post with an open mind... You make a very persuasive argument.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Yet Another Privacy Violation - This time it's about kids
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2012, 09:39:26 PM »
Hmm. Tricky topic here. I remember the whole "photograph day" thing, but back then it just seemed so much simpler. School takes photos, Police gets a copy, and everyone goes home.

The problem now is the rising clash between everyone selling data for fun and profit, and the rise of the "malware mentality" whereupon this company makes a data mistake, and then hackers get a nice juicy datachunk full of children which they sell to nefarious people.  There's also the growing watching of other's choices via historical list accumulation, for the purposes of "Law enforcement" etc.

"Get a complete list of everything your child has eaten, right on the automatic Facebook page created for you." Johnny didn't eat the Broccoli when it was offered? That's a Grounding."

The problem with digital lists is that there is no leeway for pecadilloes to forgive. "Did you eat the Broccoli? No? Were you sick? No? Sentenced to an extra page of math in Mrs. Whipple's room. Case Concluded."

(Think going over 7 miles over the speed limit and license plate recording. Same thing.)

There's a nasty new trend in news reporting. Tech Does Stuff. However now it's our government who already has the nasty side picked out, and they spin it "nice and clean".

For example, I agree bullying was bad news back in the day. I mostly wriggled underneath any real harm. But that was because everyone knew that teachers didn't actually want to ... wait for it ... get involved and protect the children! It was much more fun to enforce detentions. But now a smart geek could do stuff like have a 1-touch surround video feed auto-loaded to the Cloud, capturing the bullying live in realtime.

"Mrs. Whipple, Big Dog Johnny was bullying me."
"Oh, I'm sure you are just mistaken, everyone knows Little Johnny is an angel."
"Which of three angles would you like the live footage in, Mrs. Whipple?"

(Apologies to all Mrs. Whipples worldwide. No intent meant towards resemblance of any Mrs. Whipples currently living.)




SeraphimLabs

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Re: Yet Another Privacy Violation - This time it's about kids
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2012, 08:22:04 AM »
Schools photograph all children, every year, and the only "opt out" available is to not pay for the school pics package when they arrive, and just send them back to the school. A parent can not say "do not photograph my child". The child is still photographed, the school still has a copy of the photo, and in most cases every child in the class is given not only their own picture, but also a class picture featuring every child in their class, including the children that "opted out" by not paying. Often school ID cards are issued, using the official school photo. This is also the photo used in the yearbooks.

Actually there was an opt-out.

In my last few years of high school- 2004 and 2005, I wanted no part of being around my classmates. So I at times went through great lengths to ensure that I was not photographed at school, and the only record at all of my presence was the assignments that I completed at the time.

The yearbook those years had a photo unavailable tag in my place, as they were unsuccessful in obtaining any suitable images of me to use in it.

But that is as close to an opt-out as you could get- being a kid who would not hold still where the camera could see me. The only way they'd beat that is to pull footage from the security cameras and hope that I actually looked at said cameras with a decent expression on my face.

Something like this, it looks more along the lines of they are simply generating a hashtag based on the lines in the student's hand that is used to authenticate the purchases. It really would cut down on lunch money stealing, and also would prevent students from spending their lunch money on other things. And even at that, the resulting hashtag would be specific to the device and algorithms used. It would even change if a student's hand got injured- mine would often have burn marks or scrapes resulting from the experimentation I did in the backyard at the time.

And yes, schenanigans like that were epic. Someone bullied me? I was in the loop with the school's IT department. Bullies would find all their favorite non-educational sites mysteriously blocked within 24 hours of giving me a hard time.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Yet Another Privacy Violation - This time it's about kids
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2012, 08:30:00 AM »

Well, between parental pressure and school pressure, it was hard for me at least to avoid "Photo Day". So I mostly lived with it. But since if the cops really want it, they can just call the DMV/RMV to get your driver license photo, so if it was JUST reduced to a photo I lived with it. Most of what I object to is the later non-scholastic attempts to monetize/control photos and info.

40hz

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Re: Yet Another Privacy Violation - This time it's about kids
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2012, 11:40:30 AM »
A lot of it is based on fear mongering however.

Where I live there's been a concerted effort to make parents "aware" of child abduction and molestation.

As a result, any male (unaccompanied by a female) who is seen within 300 feet of a child is immediately viewed with suspicion and seen as "up to no good." I've got a friend who was sitting at a picnic table in a public park (quietly having lunch and reading his book) be "asked" by two soccer moms if he'd mind moving two tables further away because their children wanted to play on the swing set next to his table.

Some US airlines are already on record as having "policies" that do not allow single unrelated males to sit next to unaccompanied children on plane flights. (When asked why, since it could be considered both discriminatory and a form of illegal profiling, they stonewall and simply reiterate: "It's our company's policy.")

So in this highly charged, hyper-emotional, and "anxious" atmosphere, it doesn't take much prodding (or parental peer pressure) to get many parents to go along with having their son or daughter fingerprinted by the police. And surprise, surprise! There is a fee charged for this service too! (Can you say "municipal revenue opportunity" folks? Because the people who sell them the kiddie "ID kits" certainly do.)

Interestingly, the vast majority of cases involving child abduction or molestation were committed by a parent or relative of the victim. Followed by trusted members within the family circle (i.e. clergy, medical advisors, 'sitters', and close personal friends.) At least if the FBI's reported crime statistics are to be believed.

And today, according to UNICEF, the biggest threat to the lives of women and children is warfare - where both are increasingly being seen as acceptable targets for direct attack. This has drastically increased the number of female and child casualties by adding to the deaths from "related factors" which (traditionally) were the primary causes of death to female and child non-combatants. These include such things as: disease, starvation, and non-combat related acts of violence (i.e. rape, murder, assault).

So apparently it's governments and wannabe governments that pose the greatest risks to the lives and safety of children. Followed by people found within their own family circle.

Interesting that it's only the "sicko stranger" and "creep" who is getting all the focus and attention - as well as being viewed as the most proximate threat. Not to take away from the problem itself, or dismiss legitimate concerns. But much more common and serious threats exist that are largely being ignored when it comes to the safety of children.

Why is that? :o
« Last Edit: October 06, 2012, 11:55:39 AM by 40hz »

Renegade

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Re: Yet Another Privacy Violation - This time it's about kids
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2012, 11:50:15 AM »
+1 × 10^∞^∞^∞^∞^∞^∞^∞^∞^∞ for 40hz

(TaoPhoenix - does this ++count? ;) )

Fear is used as a weapon to subjugate people. It's the same old tactic we see repeated again and again through history. e.g. Iraq has WMDs. Yeah... Right... Now it's Iran...  :-\ Tomorrow? Cuba maybe? I bet they have a darn good baseball pitcher delivery system too.  :-\

I think people fail to understand the inherent danger of the digital world. The most powerful things out there are "ideas", and once something is digitized... It's then an "idea".

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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Yet Another Privacy Violation - This time it's about kids
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2012, 10:05:43 PM »

"(TaoPhoenix - does this ++count?)"

Awww, Renegade, you're too smart for me, what did you mean?