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Parents Upset Over Lunchtime Palm Scanner

$300,000 system leads to privacy concerns.

Parents of students at Carroll County schools in Baltimore say a new policy that scans kids’ palms to pay for their lunches goes too far.

Photo: Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun/MCT via Getty ImagesWith the PalmSecure system, students hover their hands over an infrared scanner that ID’s them by the unique patterns in their skin and registers a sale, according to a report from the Daily Herald.

The Herald talked to Mike Richmond, who has two children at a Westminster elementary school. He said the scanning started before parents were given the chance to opt out.

"I didn’t appreciate how they handled it. I’m concerned about it. I know it’s the way of the future, but it’s fingerprinting, it’s palm-printing."

The district said the goal is to decrease the time it takes to pay for lunches since the children have a limited amount of time to eat their meals.

The controversial system is operating in three Carroll County elementary schools with plans to expand to the whole district within a year. It’s also used in many other schools around the country where there have also been concerns about invasion of privacy as well as the cost of the system. Once implemented, PalmSecure will run the Carroll County district about $300,000.

Bing: Read more about the story.

Photo: Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun/MCT via Getty Images



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Oct 11, 2012 3:41PM
This idea bothers me, greatly. If my child's school implemented this, I would take them out. I've done it before, switched schools because I didn't agree with policies. It's up to us, as parents, to take a stand and defend our children's freedoms. My full rant can be found here: 
Oct 9, 2012 11:55PM
It may not be about the free or reduced rate lunches but don't you realize if you work that your tax dollars are going towards paying for these lunches that get thrown out and most if not all public schools offer the Federal School Lunch Program!!!
Oct 9, 2012 1:38PM

Happy said "Wake up why would the goverment put into action for a school lunch program to save a litte time for them to eat". First off the government did not, the school did. dont twist and turn to better suite your argument. the school did, so if its the schools program how is the government trying to track you through it.

   like i said in the last post, they have other ways and means to track us already, i.e. credit card transactions. when they get rid of paper money and make everbody get a goverment issue credit card then have some concern.

 so being able to track you is not a conspiracy theory, its true. and im giving that to you to take the conspiracy theory out of this, its for the school by the school and does not have anything to do with the government. so mr kennith being able to track you through credit cards is relevent, because you said the freedom theyre trying to take away with the palm reader is the 4th Amendment, the  right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure of your person or your property, but its ok for them to do it through your credit card because it was willingly done. its not willingly done if you think its conspiracy theory crap. so the school started doing it without the parent permission, now they know go to a differant school willingly. whats done is done, the school (not government) had good intentions. the government doesnt need the schools to track the kids in the future, they aready have there own, and they wouldnt risk the debate about something we know about(like palm readers in school), its what we dont know about that we should be scared of. kennith maybe ur right. maybe its beyond me to write a coherent post, but unlike your argument, mine is not prejudice, or anti goverment. if you think about it "No personal identification information is exchanged" to get ur lunch. HOW DOES IT TAKE AWAY YOUR FREEDOM? ((coherent) next they'll say its not coherent beause of my spelling or punctuation mistakes, thats there next argument in a losing battle)

Oct 9, 2012 8:45AM
But we can not have a National ID -
Oct 9, 2012 5:22AM
why are u trying to block me MSNBC???????????????
Oct 9, 2012 5:16AM
What's wrong with using MONEY, Mara?????.....huh?
Oct 9, 2012 4:45AM
Can't the kids have a card just like a metro card that is attached to a necklace and the younger kids will be given thier card with the name on it daily. When back from lunch they hang it on a hook or the teacher locks it up?
Oct 9, 2012 4:43AM

I always pack my kids lunch. Those lunch ladies eat all the good stuff and give the kids the days old bread etc. My daughter once got molded bread. No thanks! Now about the scanning kids don't need to be scanned like criminals. Give to kids a ticket a day.

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