"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Sunday, November 02, 2014

T & W, Inc. Engaged in Racial Profiling Program in Huntsville

Raw Story reports that a shadowy outfit in Huntsville, Alabama, T & W, Inc., has been identified as the company in charge of a student spying program paid for by the Huntsville City Schools:
Huntsville City Schools (HCS) paid a former Federal Bureau of Investigations agent $157,000 to direct security last year, but critics contend that the system he implemented is designed to monitor the social media activity of black students, according to AL.com.

Chris McRae, the agent in question, was brought in to oversee the Students Against Fear (SAFe) program, which works by allowing students and teachers to provide anonymous tips to security personnel, who then scour social media sites like Facebook to determine the credibility of the threat.

Over 600 Huntsville City School students had their social media presence monitored last year. Of the students expelled last year for reasons related to social media, 86 percent were African-American. The school system as a whole is 40 percent black — but 78 percent of all students expelled are black.

Madison County Commissioner Bob Harrison said that the policy “is effectively targeting or profiling black children in terms of behavior and behavioral issues.”

. . . .

McRae and the others involved in running the SAFe program do not work directly for the school system — instead, they are employed by T&W Operations. According to paperwork provided by the system, “McRae provides security training, along with reviewing security features at Huntsville facilities both existing and those under construction. He recommends enhancements and improvements and works with HCS security staff on tips that are referred to the District office.”

However, after news of SAFe’s relation to T&W Operations, many critics of the city noticed that their groups were being monitored by it. Jeannee Gannuch, co-founder of the South Huntsville Civic Association, which is often critical of the city, discovered that T&W Operations was following her group on Facebook.

“My tax dollars are paying for a hired hand to watch a political organization? That doesn’t seem right,” she told AL.com.
T & W recently celebrated the grand opening of a new 15,000 sq. ft. operations center in September.

A number of stories on the company can still be found.  This is one of them below, which reports a deal with Fujitsu, to market a biometric student tracking system nationally.  Will the Justice Department investigate this kind of Orwellian profiteering?
School system to deploy biometric authentication on buses to assure parents of student’s safety

Foothill Ranch, CA, March 18th, 2013 — Fujitsu Frontech North America Inc., a leader in innovative technology and front-end solutions, today announced that it has teamed up with T&W Operations, Inc., an IT and logistics solutions provider to government and small businesses, to develop the Kidtrack™ system. The Kidtrack system employs Fujitsu’s PalmEntry™ Physical Access Control system installed in school buses to track the location of children during the transportation process before and after school. The PalmEntry system is a secure, contactless, biometric access control solution that positively authenticates the identity of an individual. The public unveiling of the Kidtrack system will be March 19, 2013, at the Ohio Association for Pupil Transportation Conference and Trade Show in Dublin, OH.

“We looked at other methods of verifying student location and safety, but chose the Fujitsu PalmEntry system due to its high level of accuracy and ease of use in a bus environment.” says Beau Bowden, president, T&W Operations, Inc. “Over the next 12 months we plan on demonstrating the solution at a number regional and national education conferences.”

The PalmEntry system relies on Fujitsu’s award-winning PalmSecure® biometric technology. The Fujitsu PalmSecure biometric palm vein sensors use a near-infrared light to capture a user’s palm vein pattern, generating a unique biometric template that is matched against the palm vein patterns of pre-registered users. Unlike other readers, the PalmSecure device does not come into contact with the skin, making it extremely hygienic, non-intrusive and unrestricted by external factors such as skin types and conditions. Registration for the PalmEntry system takes less than one minute and authentication takes less than one second.

In 2006, Huntsville, AL suffered a tragic accident, when a school bus carrying 40 local students fell off a portion of elevated highway. School administrators and parents alike struggled during the rescue with not knowing which students had been affected. With the Kidtrack system the school system would have known immediately who was in danger and parents and guardians could have been notified much sooner. This system offers peace of mind to school administrators as well as potentially life-saving information in the case of an emergency. The Kidtrack system is unique in that while it is a cloud-based system, it also locally stores tracking data on the bus itself.

“We are proud that T&W Operations, Inc., has chosen the Fujitsu PalmEntry access control system as one of the key components in the Kidtrack system,” according to Randy Fox, senior director, currency handling and identification product solutions, Fujitsu Frontech North America Inc. “The PalmEntry solution provides a high level of flexibility in the Kidtrack system, while ensuring security and privacy for the students. Parents and school administrators alike will have relevant and timely information when needed.

Fujitsu’s family of biometric solutions, PalmSecure, PalmSecure for SSO (single sign-on) and PalmEntry Physical Access Control, all utilize the award winning technology. The palm vein device can only recognize the pattern if the blood is actively flowing within the individual’s veins, which means that forgery is virtually impossible. This advanced, vascular pattern recognition technology not only provides highly reliable authentication with low false accept and reject rates, but also generates fast and easy enrollment

About Fujitsu Frontech North America, Inc.
Fujitsu Frontech North America Inc. brings innovative technology from Japan and, with its partners, develops powerful front-end solutions that shape how society interacts with big data. Fujitsu Frontech North America Inc., is headquartered at 27121 Towne Centre Drive, Suite #100, Foothill Ranch, CA 92610, USA. For more information about Fujitsu products and services, call us at 800-626-4686 or visit us at:

For more information, please see: www.fujitsufrontechna.com
About T &W Operations, Inc.
T&W Operations, Inc. is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned (SDVO) Small Business based in Huntsville, Alabama with locations across the United States. As retired career military officers, co-founders Tom Jarrell and Wayne Gardner found a need for their unique blend of Information Technology and Logistics expertise to support acquisition and life-cycle management of DoD weapon systems and government owned commercial off-the-shelf equipment. T&W provides Logistics, Information Technology (IT), and Management Services to government and commercial customers and offer exceptional expertise in secure web-based software development, IT Engineering, Information Assurance (IA) Support and Consulting, Biometric Security, Project Management, and Management Support. It is our mission to leverage emerging technology with out-of-the-box thinking to provide smart and creative solutions to our government, civic, and commercial customers. For more information on T&W Operations, Inc. please visit
For more information, please see: http://www.tnwops.com/
About Fujitsu Frontech Limited

As part of the Fujitsu Group, Fujitsu Frontech Limited ties people and IT together through the development, manufacture and sale of front-end technology such as ATMs, operation branch, POS and totalizator terminals, and public display devices. Fujitsu Frontech also delivers related software, system integration and outsourcing as part of its total solutions offerings. The company supports the security sector by offering products incorporating Fujitsu's latest palm vein authentication technology, and is actively involved in the development of key technologies in various fields, with a current focus on color electronic paper and RFID systems.

For more information, please see: www.frontech.fujitsu.com/en/

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