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(Statesman Journal)   Parents of Oregon middle school students give the finger to new fingerprint payment system   (statesmanjournal.com) divider line 67
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10487 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Oct 2007 at 6:32 AM (6 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2007-10-25 06:40:12 AM
Good for them
 
2007-10-25 06:41:16 AM
If they're freaked out about the fingerprints, wait until they find out that today's lunch special "Soylent Green Surprise" is people!
 
2007-10-25 06:42:05 AM
ElegantGoose:

If they're freaked out about the fingerprints, wait until they find out that today's lunch special "Soylent Green Surprise" is people!

I agree. I'm a teacher and the cafeteria food scares the shiat out of me - literally. To the bathroom after you eat.
 
2007-10-25 06:44:03 AM
tbn0.google.com

Stolen lunch money?
 
2007-10-25 06:44:03 AM
We just installed fingerprint readers for the drug cabinets here. With the amount of nutjobs I work with, I'm amazed no one thought of this.

Time to stir the pot. Should be an entertaining day.
 
2007-10-25 06:44:03 AM
Normally anything where the ACLU gets involved I'm weary of their stance.
This time, I'll agree with them.
 
2007-10-25 06:48:38 AM
So, what does fingerprinting does that could not be done with a swipe card?
 
2007-10-25 06:55:30 AM
padraig:
So, what does fingerprinting does that could not be done with a swipe card?

It's a little bit harder to lose/steal a finger. And you'll rarely leave your finger on the tray when you're done.
 
2007-10-25 06:55:40 AM
So, what does fingerprinting does that could not be done with a swipe card?

It teaches the little bastards responsibility. They can lose their cards but not their finger. Well, OK, they can lose their fingers but not without some effort.

My dad taught me to be a man. I lost my house key when I was 7 years old. He did not let me back in the house until I found it. Those were the longest 4 years of my life.
 
2007-10-25 06:57:09 AM
padraig: So, what does fingerprinting does that could not be done with a swipe card?

It cant be stolen. You didnt think of that?

/well unless you cut off the kids finger
//i still disagree with having a system like this though
 
2007-10-25 07:00:03 AM
Personally, I'd love to be able to pay for everything just by scanning my fingerprint. But then, I'm not tin-foil-hat-wearing paranoid. I'm too lazy to carry a card, yes, absolutely...but I'm not paranoid.
 
2007-10-25 07:05:20 AM
Strange use of the phrase "teaches them responsibility" since it does just the opposite. You don't have to be responsible to keep from losing your finger.
 
2007-10-25 07:16:10 AM
slideaway
t cant be stolen. You didnt think of that?

/well unless you cut off the kids finger
//i still disagree with having a system like this thoug


Don't believe what the companies selling the stuff tells you. Fingerprints can be "stolen" and that has been known for years. It's harder than stealing a swipecard but it's not exactly rocket science. You need a latent print, dust and lift that, make a printed circuit board of that print (easy to do with photosensitive boards). Finally you make a new print by molding some gelatin on it.

Don't belive me? Read Bruce Schneiers Crypto-Gram at http://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram-0205.html#5
 
2007-10-25 07:19:12 AM
VeruccaGnome: Don't believe what the companies selling the stuff tells you. Fingerprints can be "stolen" and that has been known for years. It's harder than stealing a swipecard but it's not exactly rocket science. You need a latent print, dust and lift that, make a printed circuit board of that print (easy to do with photosensitive boards). Finally you make a new print by molding some gelatin on it.

You think kids will do all of that for a free school lunch?
 
2007-10-25 07:26:49 AM
Wow.
 
2007-10-25 07:35:15 AM
The point everyone missed is that the system does not store the actual fingerprint itself. It stores 3 data points that allow a fingerprint to be identified. The fingerprint could not be reproduced from the data that is stored. I am as security-minded and paranoid about identity theft as anyone, and I use one of these systems. If a thief were to somehow come into possession of the data files stored this system, they would be useless to him. Credit card system data is much more useful to a thief and I bet you have more than one credit card.
 
2007-10-25 07:37:29 AM
You think kids will do all of that for a free school lunch?


Look out it's the lunch haxorz stealing your milk box.
 
2007-10-25 07:42:25 AM
FTA: It's stored on the school computer and can't be used in any other way."
Translation: We have a policy that says you're not supposed to use it for anything else.
 
2007-10-25 07:47:48 AM
What ever happened to plain old lunch money?
 
2007-10-25 07:52:49 AM
RSeery: The point everyone missed is that the system does not store the actual fingerprint itself. It stores 3 data points that allow a fingerprint to be identified. The fingerprint could not be reproduced from the data that is stored. I am as security-minded and paranoid about identity theft as anyone, and I use one of these systems. If a thief were to somehow come into possession of the data files stored this system, they would be useless to him. Credit card system data is much more useful to a thief and I bet you have more than one credit card.

Surely it's still a system that allows a fingerprint to be matched to an individual? If they dusted someones locker (for example) and ran the same algorithm, they should be able to match it so someone in their database. The fact that it stores a "string" rather than a picture of the actual fingerprint seems to be irrelevent.
 
2007-10-25 07:53:58 AM
RSeery
The point everyone missed is that the system does not store the actual fingerprint itself. It stores 3 data point

but obviously the data points must be unique enough to differentiate between all the different people using the system.... so if it's all unique to each person, then they might as well be storing a photocopy of the fingerprint, right?

/Chip me and you die.
 
2007-10-25 07:55:03 AM
Another vote for everyone promoting fingerprints to read Schneier's cryptogram. Biometrics are not secrets. And they respond very poorly to failure.

I guess I couldn't convince the school system to use random five word passphrases together with key cards though...
 
2007-10-25 07:58:37 AM
Have the little pinko's carry their freakin lunch money to school like we did when growing up.
 
2007-10-25 08:10:44 AM
I used to pay with money. What a primitive savage I was.
 
2007-10-25 08:11:06 AM
Eggie: The fact that it stores a "string" rather than a picture of the actual fingerprint seems to be irrelevent.

greenz: might as well be storing a photocopy of the fingerprint

No. The fact that the actual fingerprint is not stored is important. If the actual fingerprint were stored, then the data may be useful outside the system. For example, a thief steals the data and you are framed for murder because your fingerprint is on a weapon, etc. Not storing the print prevents that particular kind of "identity theft" from being accomplished using the stored data--even in cases of collusion.

True, the points are enough to distinguish the print from another, but only within that system. There are millions of points available for verification on a print, and only a small number are used. And they vary from system to system.

To Eggie's point, lifting a print from a locker and using it to breach the system is a possibility. But, I think the privacy advocates are more concerned with the stored data being abused outside the lunch system--not with a breach of the lunch system. And, it is still easier to steal a card using the old system than to reproduce a fingerprint for the new system.
 
2007-10-25 08:11:23 AM
What's so hard about learning a code number to input into a keypad??? My kindergartener does this for his lunch!!!
 
2007-10-25 08:16:08 AM
I just aced a midterm in network security, so I'm getting a kick out of these replies...

Back in grade school, we typed in a four digit pin using a keypad. When the semester started, it took a week or so for everyone to remember their pins. It's debatable whether kids are more likely to forget a number over the weekend versus forgetting their card but it was possible to catch the pin of the guy in front of you.

Putting authentication aside, the most important thing these systems have to offer is privacy for the low-income students. All kids need proper nutrition to learn and a lot of schools have implemented free or reduced meals programs. Mine screwed it up though by only giving the poor students a half-pint of milk, a cheese sandwich, and an apple. It was a badge of shame and a lot of times a kid would rather skip lunch than suffer the embarrassment.

/not gonna be a hardass and demand they make a lunch
 
2007-10-25 08:23:01 AM

What ever happened to plain old lunch money?


Phasing out in favor of speed. On that issue I'm kind of on the fence because having lunch money teaches kiddies about how to manage money, and that if you forget it, you're doing with out. Lessons that can't be learned when you just swipe your finger print. On the other hand, I remember a few times standing in line the entire lunch period because the line was moving so farking slow (but that probably wasn't about money, but by students who stand in line and can't decide on what they wanted to eat).
 
2007-10-25 08:23:12 AM
To quote everyone above me "Get off my lawn with your new technological gizmos and whatzits"

Unless they use cash there is a chance information can be stolen. On second thought I suppose fingerprints could be lifted off money too... I think there should be more attention paid to how the information is stored and less to what the information is. A little encryption should do the trick.

Personally I think this is a fantastic idea. The outrage shown is a case of parents precious snowflakes having the slightest chance of experincing the real world
 
2007-10-25 08:31:10 AM
Why the hell don't we just tattoo bar codes on the kids' foreheads and skip the middle man?
 
2007-10-25 08:31:37 AM
i had a roommate in college that, when he checked out at a store that had you sign on a digital pad for credit card purchases (ie - best buy), would refuse to sign electronically and demand the cashier print out a receipt for him to sign instead. he said that he didn't want the government or anyone else having unfettered access to his signature.

he was farking crazy. conspiracy theory nutjob.

i am a big defender of my privacy, but if you think your fingerprint is hard to get on record, go read one of the fark threads about cops abusing authority and arresting someone for no reason. you can bet if they want your fingerprints, they can just run you through the system and let you go.
 
2007-10-25 08:53:38 AM
Butt prints offer much more entertainment value and accomplish the same thing. Just remember to clean the glass after each use.
 
2007-10-25 09:04:49 AM
What about the possibility of spreading disease? One MRSA kid with a cut finger...all the kids touch the same scanner, then everyone sits down and eats a side order of staph.
 
2007-10-25 09:05:25 AM
Resist the New World Order!!
 
2007-10-25 09:08:16 AM
UnusableSignal: What about the possibility of spreading disease? One MRSA kid with a cut finger...all the kids touch the same scanner, then everyone sits down and eats a side order of staph.

When was the last time that one kid washed his hands after going to the bathroom? You know the one.

/don't want to smell his finger
 
2007-10-25 09:10:40 AM
On one hand, all the paranoid luddites who object to the fingerprint technology can pack a lunch for snowflake ever day.

On the other hand, "can't be used for anything else" is what they said when they first started issuing social security numbers.
 
2007-10-25 09:18:27 AM
FTFA

"They say it's not a fingerprint, but it is," Hamshar said. "I don't know that hackers won't be able to steal my daughter's fingerprints in the future."

....But it isn't...and they cant. But don't let that get in the way of good old fashioned Luddite hysteria.

Again....its far easier to steal your child s fingerprints WITHOUT the system than to somehow, with only three data points, reconstruct the entire fingerprint.

Also "I don't know that hackers won't be able to steal my in the future." I smell a cliche?
 
2007-10-25 09:35:56 AM
UnusableSignal: What about the possibility of spreading disease? One MRSA kid with a cut finger...all the kids touch the same scanner, then everyone sits down and eats a side order of staph.

The one I use has disinfecting wipes next to it. You wipe the scanner and then use it.
 
2007-10-25 09:44:55 AM
So it basically makes a hash from a few selected points on the print. Similair to how many online security systems don't store your actual password, but the MD5 hash of your password. And we all know, those things are NEVER broken. Doesn't matter if the actual print isn't stored, it's taken a set of data that is apparently 100% unique to that person (otherwise it's a totally worthless system). So even if I can't get your entire print, I can reverse engineer the algorithm to generate enough of a print that it will be identified as you.
 
2007-10-25 09:49:36 AM
A wasteful application of the technology, that.
 
2007-10-25 09:51:59 AM
Why does the system hate bullies?
 
2007-10-25 09:54:49 AM
There is a chain of grocery stores where I live (Jewel in Chicago) that has a similar system for paying for groceries. Your finger print is linked to your credit card. So when you want to pay for groceries you simply have your finger scanned and off you go.

A couple of stores near me have these in place. I have yet to see anyone use it.
 
2007-10-25 10:02:30 AM
"Some of the parents are worried the government will be able to access their kids' prints," Butler said. "But what they don't realize is that the actual image of the fingerprint is discarded and all that's used is a number."

...and they're discarded into an unlocked dumpster, along with their names and social security numbers and photographs. It's all completely safe.
 
2007-10-25 10:07:10 AM
stonicus: So even if I can't get your entire print, I can reverse engineer the algorithm to generate enough of a print that it will be identified as you.

That will take significantly more effort than stealing a card, seeing their Pin or straight up robbing them for cash... We're talking about high schoolers here not James Bond-types.
 
2007-10-25 10:21:30 AM
FTFA:
The data can't be used to re-create a fingerprint or by police to identify a student

Erm, in 5 minutes I came up with a way to do it. Take an image of a fingerprint you lifted from some surface, run it through the same algorithm the system uses to get a number and compare that number to what's in the database to get an identity.

Sure, they can't use it if it's not from the same finger as used in the system. But odds are they would find at least 1 from that finger eventually.

Given how very unconcerned schools are with the rights of their students, I can't imagine the police will have to work to hard to convince a principal to let them access their system...
 
2007-10-25 10:23:42 AM
The true issue is that we're teaching our kids to just accept that it's OK to give your fingerprint for something as trivial as school lunch. We're desensitizing them with all of these "minor" invasions of privacy.
 
2007-10-25 10:25:38 AM
I generally like to give the finger to the people in the state below mine. A big thanks to them for inflating the real estate market so regular working stiffs can't afford to purchase a home.

/Central Oregon resident
 
2007-10-25 10:39:31 AM
"It's a string, not a fingerprint," Adams said. "It's three mathematical pieces of information taken from a student's finger. It's stored on the school computer and can't be used in any other way."

And we believe you because school (or other government officials) would NEVER lie to us or violate people's privacy, ESPECIALLY minors who, it is believed won't fight back.
 
2007-10-25 10:42:00 AM
***
The middle school's new scanner plots points on a fingerprint and then converts those points to an encrypted number, he explained.
***

Yeah, ass. That's how ALL data is stored digitally. farking dickholes.

ALL digital fingerprinting systems, including the systems law enforcement use to ID prints from data banks, use mathematical processes to plot unique points in a fingerprint then convert them to numbers. Furthermore, a digital image is just really a matrix of numbers. God, how can people make concrete statements about things they don't understand and still be so smug? Why not just say, "Hey, I'm not a computer expert and I especially don't specialize in this particular system," and then go to the source and unbiased experts for answers?

padraig: So, what does fingerprinting does that could not be done with a swipe card?

At least with a card you can keep from containing personal information by using institutional information, such as a member ID. Some schools actually have picture ID. That way they can compare the face to make sure it hasn't been stolen.

/now don't get me started on RFID
 
2007-10-25 11:25:40 AM
"Feeling the lunchtime crunch, Stayton Middle School administrators last month installed a finger-scanning system to help expedite the cafeteria meal line."

Students have been eating lunch at public schools for years and paying for it with cash. Now advanced technology is suddenly necessary to "help expedite" things?

Currently, their lunch schedule feeds about 500 students in just over 2 hours, giving each student approximately 40-45 minutes to eat.

Unless each student takes more than 15 seconds to get their money out (e.i., 4 purchases per minute), this is plenty of time to take care of business. Even if the fingerprinting does save time, what else is the cashier going to do with this newly acquired free time? She still has to stand there doesn't she?

Regardless of the ethical issues, I think the school may have been the victim of a good sales pitch.
 
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