New 'Opt-In' Hand Scanner Technology Now Available to Students on Unlimited and Block Meal Plans – Syracuse University News

Students interested in an expedited entry into Syracuse University’s dining centers now have a new high-tech option available to them. In recent weeks, the University has installed Morpho hand scanners in nearly all dining centers to facilitate a quicker, contactless entrance at mealtimes. The use of this technology is entirely voluntary and available for students on unlimited and block plans. Already, hundreds of students have registered their hand scans with the Housing, Meal Plan and I.D. Card Services Office and begun using the system. Students interested in signing up should visit 206 Steele Hall.
“Our students want a variety of dining options that they can access at their convenience—whether it’s in between class or late in the evening after a night of studying. This is one of many enhancements we plan to implement to make the dining experience more enjoyable and efficient for our students,” says Kris Klinger, senior associate vice president for auxiliary services.
Students on unlimited and block meal plans now have three options for visiting the dining centers: 1) they can register their handprint and utilize the new system; 2) they can continue to use their SUID card; or 3) they can download the GET app for entrance to the dining centers.
Following data security best practices, the Morpho system uses an encrypted mathematical representation of each student’s hand scan.  Hand scans are encrypted throughout the collection and conversion process and then destroyed, so no biometric information remains with Morpho.  In addition, Morpho operates on a secure private network that is inaccessible from the internet.
According to Chris Croad, chief information security officer, Morpho’s security and privacy measures meet the industry’s highest standards for information security.
“Our students are comfortable with the latest gadget or touchless device and, in fact, are usually the earliest adopters of new technology,” says Croad. “Face scans and fingerprints are what we use now to unlock our many devices, so it’s no surprise similar technology will be used to buy a coffee or pay for a meal.”
Other college campuses have rolled out this technology in recent years and have received positive feedback from their students. Some colleges, including the University of Alabama and Auburn University, have begun issuing mobile IDs to their students, an indication that contactless technology continues to rapidly evolve and expand.
“The new scanners were a relatively simple opportunity to upgrade the University’s technology,” says Klinger. “We will constantly look for opportunities to modernize and meet our students where they are.”
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