Biometric technology implemented at high school

July 2003 Access Control & Identity Management

Utilising biometric/fingerprint technology, an Israeli high school principal has found an innovative way to instantly detect truant students.

Lavie TimeTECH, of the TEAM Group, has recently completed implementing a special biometric/fingerprint-based monitoring system for students in a Tel-Aviv high school. Students at the Bar-Lev high school must now register their arrival at the school by placing a finger in a biometric/fingerprint reader linked to a computerised data bank.

The company installed three biometric/fingerprint scanners - similar to those used in many airports - at the school's entrance. Every student has a unique three-digit PIN code, and registers his/her arrival by placing a finger on the reader and entering the code. At 8:35 a.m., the system automatically processes this data and sends SMS messages to the mobile phones of parents whose children are either absent or tardy. The system is sufficiently flexible to cater for varying daily student schedules and different parental requests (ie, in addition to the daily absence notification, some parents wish to receive daily tardy notifications while others wish to receive only weekly or monthly summaries of such information).

"The idea had been rolling in my head ever since one of our students was seriously wounded in a terror attack in Tel-Aviv one morning two years ago," says principal Assaf Naftali. "He was playing hooky at the time of the explosion, and the school and parents were notified of his whereabouts only in the late afternoon. These are uncertain times, and parents want to ensure that their children are safe at all times. It is enough for one pupil to be unaccounted for."

Gil Yuval, joint managing director of Lavie TimeTECH, says: "As can be expected, several parents voiced concerns related to privacy and information leakage. This is, however, a completely closed system. I can assure all those concerned, that no information will be transferred to the police or any other body outside of the school. The fingerprint-ID information is retained in binary form and no one has or will have access to it. Once a student leaves the school, all his/her data will be permanently erased."

For more information contact Q-Data DynamiQue, 011 266 5902.

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