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Fellow CIOs: Our department of residence is considering the use of a biometric fingerprint-based identification system for allowing students to come in multiple times into dining centers and so on. Have any of your institutions implemented such a solution? What are some issues that we have to consider related to this? Thanks a lot in advance. Shashi. -- ------------------------------------------------ Shashi Kaparthi, Ph.D. Chief Information Officer (CIO) University of Northern Iowa ------------------------------------------------ ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at


Aren't there Civil liberties issues with this? Naveed Husain Chief Information Officer, Queens College, CUNY 65-30 Kissena Blvd, I-100 Flushing, NY 11365 Tel. 718.997.3009 Cell. 917.642.3946 Fax. 718.997.5678 E-mail: Sent using handheld.
We've considered biometric fingerprint or hand-print systems for employment time-keeping, but have not implemented a system.   We recognize that we would need the highest level of security on the system.  I've been told that the scanners can be finicky with temperature and humidity.  We'd want a plan for alternative access quickly should a scanner be unavailable.


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We have used hand scanners, along with a pin, for our campus recreation center for 7+ years and we have thousands of visitor a day with high levels of reliability. Since the hand scanners use the geometry of the hand, versus a single fingerprint, it works very well. We do have multiple scanners, which can help if one is inoperative.  We use the same scanners in our data center, with the only draw back being the cost.

It is Protected Level 1 data, so appropriate data handling is necessary.  Our IT Security Officer has reviewed their system (CSI Spectrum) and is satisfied with the safeguards in place.

Of course it is a great way to spread germs during the flu season :)

Rich Pickett
Chief Information Officer
San Diego State University