Virginia Tech to Link Student Biometrics to Meal Plans

Virginia Tech to Link Student Biometrics to Meal Plans

Virginia Tech has become the latest academic institution to embrace biometric student identification in the cafeteria. Its new system is designed to link students’ fingerprint biometrics to their student accounts, deducting from their meal plans as they scan to enter the D-2 dining hall.

In opting for the biometric technology, school administrators’ aim appears to be to make the cafeteria dining process more efficient. As ABC 13 News reports, hundreds of extra students are expected to arrive at Virginia Tech this year; and the biometric scanning system has been aptly named the “Flex Express”.

The hardware itself is well-suited to the task. Offered by IDEMIA, the scanner is the MorphoWave, a contactless solution that is specifically aimed at high-throughput applications. It’s capable of reading all five fingerprints of a given hand without the need to actually touch the scanner; users need only to wave their hand over the scanning surface in order to be identified.

Deployed with privacy best practices in mind, the Flex Express system turns students’ biometrics into encrypted templates, ensuring that their biometric data can’t be hacked. The system is also completely voluntary, so no students will be compelled to register their biometrics if they don’t wish to do so.

Those who do, however, will get easy access to the cafeteria, which will likely offer some appeal to many students as they try to grab a bite between classes.

Source: ABC 13 News

August 21, 2019 – by Alex Perala