Now it is a simple matter of point-and-click to find out what your children are eating for lunch at school. Although this form of electronic lunch
payment at school has been used by parents for years to make sure that their children have lunch money, now they can see what is being bought with it.
Atlanta, Georgia is the first area in the country make use of this ablilty.
Three school districts in the Atlanta area last week became the first in the country to offer the parental-monitoring option of an electronic
lunch-payment system called Mealpay.com, created by Horizon Software International of Loganville, Ga.
For two years, the payment system, used by 1,000 school districts in 21 states, has allowed parents to prepay for student lunches electronically.
Students type in their identification number before the cafeteria cashier rings up each day's lunch bill. The bill then is deducted from the student's
The system was initially designed as a convenient way to make sure children could buy lunch without worrying that lunch money would get lost, spent on
other things or stolen.
However, these days parents increasingly are interested in what their kids eat away from home. Requests from concerned parents were what prompted
Horizon Software to develop the online meal-monitoring option.
Under the system, parents can see all of a student's lunch purchases. Even those paid in nickels and dimes — instead of the prepaid lunch account
— are recorded in the system, said Tina Bennett, program director.
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Generally, this isn't such a bad idea. But with the human propensity to turn good ideas bad, I see ominous undertones to this. This could be
done anywhere that has internet access and opens up a whole new realm of privacy invasion. Think about it. It would be a simple matter to append
WHAT was purchased onto any electronic transaction. With the government wanting access to ISP records and the rampant ID theft, this could be REALLY
bad (for citizens) if implemented with all transactions.
Can't you feel "big brother" breath on the back of your neck?
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