January 26, 2012
Standardized testing is a common method by which colleges and universities evaluate the competency of applying high school students. But an increasing amount of students are cheating on such tests, which has caused lawmakers in New York to consider actually harvesting “digital DNA” from students and applying it to special ID cards that students would be required to furnish both before and after taking the SAT or ACT exams to prove their identities.
The digital DNA card idea was birthed after a major cheating scandal at Great Neck North High School on Long Island. Students struggling with their studies and the standardized test protocol apparently hired Sam Eshaghoff, a former student who performed well on his own SAT exam, to take the test for them in exchange for cash (http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/12/29/exclusive-teen-accused-in-l-i-sat-scandal-says-he-provided-reliable-service/).
Dr. James Hayward from the applied DNA sciences lab at Stony Brook University, which is currently working on perfecting digital DNA technology, claims it is “absolutely unbreakable for securing the identity of a student taking the SAT exam.” He explained to lawmakers in Albany, NY, recently that a student’s identity code is wirelessly uploaded to an IT “cloud,” which allows test proctors to remotely access it and verify that it matches both that student’s digital DNA card and his or her actual image.
Currently, students are required to show their normal photo IDs before being admitted to the SAT or ACT testing room. But IDs can relatively easily be forged, say many, which means that an imposter could easily slip in and take the test for someone else. On the other hand, requiring students to submit to forensic image analysis in order to digitally encode their identity may be going way overboard, as it represents a huge step towards authoritarian encroachment into the lives of individuals.
On the same token, the technology has the potential to be widely abused by the government, as it could eventually be used to force compliance with totalitarian dictates like forced medication or vaccination. If a student is not up to date with his or her recommended vaccinations, for instance, he or she could one day be barred from certain opportunities, including the freedom to go to college. There is really no limit to the type of control that could be exerted over individuals is such technology becomes the norm (http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/dr20111129-digital-dna-the-new-dna).
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This article originally appeared at Natural News.