Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond is the latest university to begin using biometrics. The university is using the technology to scan students at meal time.
On Wednesday, the school announced it had added two iris cameras to the campus dining hall so that students can use their eyes instead of their ID for access.
“Students won’t need their ID to enter the dining center anymore,” Stephen Barr, VCU director of campus services, said in a statement Thursday. “With iris identification, it’s as simple as a camera taking a picture of their eyes and two seconds later they walk through.”
The system is voluntary, for now. Barr said it will be used as an express land and backup option over the weekend for students who lose their IDs.
Students are not happy about change.
VCU students weighing in on the school’s official Facebook page voiced concerns over the iris scanning system, calling it “creep and unnecessary” and likening it to fingerprinting the entire student body.
The increasing use of biometrics has raised privacy concerns among privacy watchdogs and critics, especially when it comes to how the biometric data will be stored and its potential to be hacked or stolen.
“We don’t keep pictures of your iris,” Barr said. “It’s just a number, just like your ID. Your ID has a unique number that ties it to you.”
Except if your ID number is ever stolen or misused, you can cancel it and get a new one.