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Cashless catering/biometrics

angela mayall made this Freedom of Information request to Honiton Community College

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Dear Honiton Community College,

Dear Gary,

Thank you for your reply to my previous FoI request.

I am not, in fact, confusing methods of payment and methods of identification; for ease I merely used the term that most people understand (and indeed you understood perfectly well what I was referring to). For example, when I (or you) use a pin number in a restaurant it is invariably referred to as "paying the bill", not as identifying myself to the computer so that the computer will pay the bill.

But you have commented on what is the nub of the problem.

Previously the students at your school paid cash for their food. Cash was indisputably a method of payment, not of identification.

If I use a card in a shop it is a method of payment, it is not a method of identification. Similarly the students at your school that use a swipe card are using it as a method of payment. Or at least that should be the case and that, presumably, is their intention, as they have rejected the biometric data mining option.

However, the school has introduced biometrics, even though biometrics is not required by law (it is a non-biometric method of identification of the person making a payment that is required by law). Thus, without any legal requirement, your school has turned the simple act of paying for food into a method of identification, as you have admitted above. Question 1. Why?

So who is it that has confused methods of payment and methods of identification?!

It is noteworthy that most biometric systems use not only fingerprint data to identify a student but also display a photo of the student to identify him/her .

Question 2. Does your system display a photo?

Question 3. And if it does, why does it, is the fingerprint data unreliable?

Here is something that I consider to be noteworthy. Kim Cameron is the Chief Architect of Identity in the Identity and Access Division of Microsoft. On his blog site he writes ""People have to be stark, raving mad to use conventional biometrics to improve the efficiency of a children's lunch line".

Question 4. What, if any, sources of advice on biometric technology, other than the sales team of the company attempting to sell the system, were used to determine whether biometric technology is appropriate for use with a lunch queue?

5. Please supply minutes of all meetings where the implementation of a non-biometric system of identification for the purpose of payment was discussed prior to purchase.

6. Please supply minutes of all meetings where the implementation of a biometric system of identification for the purpose of payment was discussed prior to purchase.

Question 7. Did the system cost more than £5,000?

Question 8. When did the cashless system go live?

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

angela mayall

GWills, Honiton Community College

Dear Angela,

I am so sorry but I am not willing to get into a discussion with you over your opinion and that of this college. I do disagree with your example of identification and payment as surely it depends on which bank card you present to the waiter!

The minutes from all of our committee meetings can be found on our website.

Gary Wills
Director of Finance
Mobile- 07540 722704
Work- 01404 42283 Ext 243

Honiton Community College Academy Trust is an exempt charity and a private company limited by guarantee registered in England & Wales. Company No: 07665387

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angela mayall left an annotation ()

Dear Gary,

It is not my "opinion". The terminology was taken from your own web-site!

It says "In June the College intends to introduce a cashless catering system using a biometric system to PAY for food purchased in the College canteen."

angela mayall left an annotation ()

SIXTEEN THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED AND TWENTY EIGHT POUNDS of public money for a cashless catering system!!!

That is more than three times what some other schools paid!

And it's used by only 600 people.

Dear Honiton Community College,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an Internal Review of Honiton Community College's handling of my FOI request 'Cashless catering/biometrics'.

Mr Wills answered only one question. I have managed to find answers to some of my questions by reading the minutes. However, the following questions, in particular, remain unanswered and must be answered under the Freedom Of Information Act.

1. What, if any, sources of advice on biometric
technology, other than the sales team of the company attempting to sell the system, were used to determine whether biometric technology is appropriate for use with a lunch queue?

2. When did the cashless system go live?

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Yours faithfully,

angela mayall

GWills, Honiton Community College

1 Attachment

Dear Angela,

 

Thank you for your email on 08^th October concerning your freedom of
information request.  Our responses are below.

 

1.       Other schools and Colleges were approached for information and
their experiences, Innovate (our caterers) were also involved and there
was also individual research carried out by members of the College
leadership team in order to glean more information.

2.       The system went live on 14 June 2012.

 

 

Regards

 

Gary

Gary Wills

Director of Finance

Mobile- 07540 722704

Work- 01404 42283 Ext 243

 

[1]Description: Logo 1

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Honiton Community College Academy Trust is an exempt charity and a private
company limited by guarantee registered in England & Wales. Company No:
07665387

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