Electronic IDs on the Horizon

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Electronic IDs developed by the IT department at Brooklyn College are expected to arrive in a pilot version in late spring or summer of this year.

“There’s no way the guards can really really do a great job about everybody that walks by,” Mark Gold, head of Information Technology Services said. “We live in a pretty dangerous world and you want to know who’s coming on board….”

His solution is to add a function to the BC Navigator application that could be accessed on both iOS and Android that pulls up each student and faculty member’s information and picture on their phone screen to hold up to the security guard booths.

The idea has been in mind since the inception of BC Navigator as a way to better check people coming into campus and make authorized entrance easier.

“There are people that come here, get an ID card because they’re gonna be a student, they drop all their courses next week, and they still have an ID card,” Gold said. The electronic IDs would stay up to date with each person’s information and stop working once the person is no longer affiliated with Brooklyn College.

The screen is expected to show a different code and set of colors that each security guard can match with that day’s code and allow entrance. If a guard is suspicious, there will be an option to access the totality of the person’s information in regards to the campus, using a password that only the security officers would have.

“So we have a bigger picture, a much more readable display, much more about who you are and what you are…and if you are 24 access, seven days a week,” Gold said.

Donald Wenz, the director of public safety, is not convinced that the initiative would work, saying that the IDs could be faked too easily.

While Gold presents the idea of saving money from not having to produce and revalidate physical identification cards, Wenz says that students and faculty would still have to get cards and would need them to enter other CUNY campuses anyway.

The mock version of the ID features a picture, name, position at the school, library barcode and the daily entrance-colors and code.

Gold’s ultimate plan is to develop a system in which those entering can simply walk through while a near-field device detects their phone and scans their information to allow them to enter, similar to John Jay’s system of turnstiles with magnetic chips in their ID cards.

Visitors will still follow the same process of checking in and receiving a paper pass.


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