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Boone County school officials may issue identification cards to students to enhance bus safety | #schoolsaftey


Aaron Gillum said he’s been getting calls from parents with students in the Boone County School District because he makes a living protecting sensitive data.”For 25 years, I have experience in secure data transmission,” Gillum said.Gillum is currently fielding questions about Z Pass identification cards.”I have had dozens of conversations over the last, probably, week-and-a-half as this kind of came to the forefront — where people becoming more aware, ‘Hey, I’m hearing something about this. What do you know about this?'” Gillum said.Barbara Brady, a spokeswoman for Boone County schools, said the cards, if approved by board members, will represent the second phase of a comprehensive bus tracking effort launched last year.Brady said the cards contain a passive radio frequency identification chip that will only be used to identify if a student is on a particular school bus. She said the cards can’t be used to track students.Gillum understands that’s the case but remains skeptical.”How secure is this product across the board, really?” he said.Gillum wonders if district leaders have fully vetted the company behind the Z Pass technology — and reviewed industry-standard reports describing how the cards work.”When I started talking to my school board member and said, ‘Hey, have you seen this type of report? Did you see any kind of analysis on this?’ It was very deer in the headlights,” he said.In a statement, Boone County School officials said their plans call for the cards to only be activated and used on school buses equipped with card readers. They compare that kind of functionality to what many adults are used to when using ID cards to enter buildings. They say the passive RFID technology can also be found in things like debit and library cards.

Aaron Gillum said he’s been getting calls from parents with students in the Boone County School District because he makes a living protecting sensitive data.

“For 25 years, I have experience in secure data transmission,” Gillum said.

Gillum is currently fielding questions about Z Pass identification cards.

“I have had dozens of conversations over the last, probably, week-and-a-half as this kind of came to the forefront — where people becoming more aware, ‘Hey, I’m hearing something about this. What do you know about this?'” Gillum said.

Barbara Brady, a spokeswoman for Boone County schools, said the cards, if approved by board members, will represent the second phase of a comprehensive bus tracking effort launched last year.

Brady said the cards contain a passive radio frequency identification chip that will only be used to identify if a student is on a particular school bus. She said the cards can’t be used to track students.

Gillum understands that’s the case but remains skeptical.

“How secure is this product across the board, really?” he said.

Gillum wonders if district leaders have fully vetted the company behind the Z Pass technology — and reviewed industry-standard reports describing how the cards work.

“When I started talking to my school board member and said, ‘Hey, have you seen this type of report? Did you see any kind of analysis on this?’ It was very deer in the headlights,” he said.

In a statement, Boone County School officials said their plans call for the cards to only be activated and used on school buses equipped with card readers. They compare that kind of functionality to what many adults are used to when using ID cards to enter buildings. They say the passive RFID technology can also be found in things like debit and library cards.



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