Bangalore Schools Using Biometrics to Take Attendance

Bangalore. The Indian city that is home to many an outsourced American and European IT/tech operation. They can also point to local activities for proof of their technical prowess. They have started an experimental program in 5 primary schools to keep track of students and teachers attendance by using biometrics. In this particular case, they are using a fingerprint authentication device that can hold data on up to 1000 individuals and that updates central data servers via satellite links.

The goals are more noble than simple ‘Big Brother’ type ones – better attendance means a better educated student and thus, a more prepared person. Better statistics also aid in analysis and future planning, in the area of government-sponsored meals, text books and uniforms.

Now here’s a thought experiment – how would the public in Western countries such as the US and Britain take to such a system? Would there be a general outcry in the name of privacy and freedom? I imagine so. I wonder how much resistance there was to this program in India?