Media Contact


Communications Director, ACLU of Maine
(646) 820-4548 (call/text)

February 13, 2024

The organization is requesting information about Caribou High School’s relationship with identiMetrics and use of student biometrics.

Update, 2/14/24, 3:40PM: According to the Bangor Daily News, Caribou High School announced they are abandoning plans to fingerprint students just one day after we demanded answers.

PORTLAND – The ACLU of Maine today submitted a public records request relating to the collection and use of student biometrics at Caribou High School. On January 24, 2024, Principal Jamie Selfridge wrote in a letter that the school planned to introduce fingerprint scanners to “assist with attendance.”

identiMetrics advertises that its biometric identification platform can be used to log attendance, charge school lunch, check out library media, track staff time, manage events like dances and sporting events, and more.

Collecting students’ biometrics presents serious privacy concerns. The school of roughly 460 students plans to rely on a private, out-of-state company to collect and store some of their students’ most sensitive information. Principal Selfridge’s letter does not elaborate on what, if any, data storage protections will be in place. The letter also does not specify if identiMetrics may exploit students’ information to sell to other companies, such as advertisers.

The ACLU of Maine has long advocated for strong digital privacy protections, and Maine’s people and lawmakers have often led the nation on the issue. “In 2021,” the records request reads, “the ACLU of Maine supported the enactment of the country’s strongest statewide facial recognition law, prohibiting the use of facial recognition technology in most areas of government, including in public schools, and for surveillance purposes.” Additionally, legislation passed in 2013 requires law enforcement to obtain a warrant before accessing cell phone data, and a 2019 law requires internet service providers to get approval from customers before selling or using their personal information. The Maine State Legislature is currently considering a bill that would implement the strongest digital privacy protections in the country.

“Privacy is not about secrecy. It’s about deciding what you share and when,” said ACLU of Maine Legal Director Carol Garvan. “Maine’s people have a clear interest in protecting their most sensitive information from Big Tech. Collecting students’ fingerprints at a public high school is of serious concern to the public. The Caribou community deserves answers, and the rest of Maine should take note so we can proactively foster transparency and enact sensible guardrails to protect our children’s privacy in all schools.”

Read the records request in the PDF at the bottom of this page or here.