Exclusive: ‘Digital DNA’ May Soon Be Required To Take SAT And ACT Exams

Stony Brook Scientists Create What They Say Is Foolproof Way To Defeat Fraud

STONY BROOK, N.Y. (CBS 2) — Since the SAT and ACT cheating scandals broke wide open on Long Island, lawmakers have pledged to come up with unique cutting edge ways to combat identity theft.

On Monday, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan got the exclusive first look at what politicians will see first hand in Albany on Tuesday afternoon, and what could soon be implemented at a high school near you.

Inside the applied DNA sciences lab at Stony Brook University researchers are hard at work inventing and perfecting a system that can prevent cheating on SAT and ACT exams.

“A novel system that’s absolutely unbreakable for securing the identity of a student taking the SAT exam,” said Dr. James Hayward.

The foolproof ID plan and others will be presented to lawmakers, who have pledged to parents, teachers and students that they will work together to protect exam integrity, hold cheaters responsible and fix the fraud, following the shocking scandal that spread from Great Neck North High School to include some 30 test takers and test payers faking their own identities, hoping to buy their into top scores and top schools.

“It’s a great way for people to really be who they are when they take the test, and not try to fake it,” Massapequa High School graduate Jennifer Karp told McLogan.

Karp volunteered her forensic image for a digital DNA. It begins with mandatory pre-registering at a student’s home school with official legal ID documents only.

“All of that is uploaded to an I.T. system of wireless connections called the ‘CLOUD,’” Dr. Hayward said.

The student’s unique digital DNA code is created and assigned to an ID card with covert authentication marks printed onto it. Proctors can verify instantly with a simple UV light and smart phone scan.

“Now you can compare the image on the phone with the image on the ID card, and the image of the student,” Dr. Hayward said.

The technology has been used by the federal government at highly secure sites. Some lawmakers see no reason why a plan like this can’t be implemented and paid for by the Educational Testing Service and College Board.

The mobile DNA security scan would be done as the student enters and again at the conclusion of the test.

Do you think this is a good idea? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below. …

  • dave ballaze

    This really cracks me up. I went to a large private University here in NY and I never took the SAT OR ACT. The year after I was out of high school, I got bored and decided I wanted to go to the school that my girlfriend, now wife, was going to. I wrote a long essay about why I wanted to go to their school, why I deserved to go there, and what I expected to do with the education they would provide me. I handed it in with my application along with a request to be interviewed.

    I did get an interview, took there entrance exam, & enrolled. Four years later, I left with with a degree in engineering, which has provided well for my family. This idea that you must take the SAT or ACT as a requirement to get into college is almost funny. I just went up to the front door with a well written essay and asked for a chance to prove myself.

    More on the topic though, sadly, this is just the beginning of intrusive government ID. Imaging technology is so advanced now that id cards are almost obsolete.

    • Chris

      too bad you still don’t know the difference between “there” and “they’re” and “their”

      I imagine you went to school a looooong time ago, that bs story doesn’t fly these days.

      go back to your “engineering”, the train is leaving soon.

      • Paul Hudson

        Is it too much to assume a grammatic slip of the mind can occur. Perhaps some just want to bang out a post and submit it before proofreading. Go back and look at your paragraph structure. You really sound like a frustrated community college dropout who has spent way too much time on the net.

    • Leesh

      I guess that private school did not teach you how to spell correctly. You “took their entrance exam”, not “there exam”

    • Leesh

      I guess that private school did not teach you how to spell correctly. You “took their entrance exam”, not “there entrance exam”

      • Marc

        The comedy is that his response bashing the other persons grammar and spelling is incorrect.

        • Professor Henry Higgins

          “The comedy is that his response bashing the other persons [sic] grammar and spelling is incorrect.”

          Comedy, indeed…

      • localsavage

        Maybe you should use your advanced English spelling and grammar skills to understand his point. I swear that you spelling / grammar police are the lowest form of internet life.

      • HarleyDog

        Petty stone casters…gotta love ’em!

      • alphapapa

        So Leesh IF I were to spell Egg… Eygg or Eyge you would call that wrong..yet it is there plain as day in Elizabethan cookbooks… who died and made you the arbitrator of spelling.

      • dam

        We “heard” you the first time…move along.

    • Fred

      >this is just the beginning of intrusive government ID.

      It is the beginning of the end of government.

    • jeff6times7

      I will take your argument one step further. School is not required. All that is required is clear thinking and expression.

      • Daniel

        While perhaps they ought to do things differently, the overwhelming majority of employers use certifications and degrees to measure the quality of prospective employees without job experience (and in many cases even of those with job experience). Alternative ways of measuring candidates have high costs.

        People who, without college degrees, seek the sorts of positions usually taken by those with such degrees are typically making a poor choice.

        • Freedom

          And we all see now how well degrees and certifications measure ability, when working in the real world. (HAHHAHAHAHAHHAHHAHA)

          All they are is a CYA for HR, to explain why they hired an incompetent. “Well, he had all the required degrees!”

          • Goldbug36

            You’ve got that right .. in the real world, employers don’t even check to see if the degree is legitimate. If HR can’t tell the difference between a person with a brain and a BS’er, then they are the ones who should be fired. Actually, I would recommend that people boycott universities until they get real with their tuition. Young folks end up with a degree in worthlessness, joblessness and a pile of debt!

    • westriversd

      But don’t ask for an ID to vote for President of the USA!

      • Mitch

        We let dead people vote by the thousands and the libofascists scream bloody murder if we want proof of who is determining our nations future. Don’t hold you breath waiting for all the “liberal” (cough-choke) groups to declare this is racist or an undue burden.

  • nfdjgh

    Oh hell no. Forget that. I’ll just make sure that I can succeed without college. Start up my own business and tell the colleges to go screw themselves.

  • Snitch-in-Time

    The real target of this is not cheaters but home schoolers. The great embarassment of the educational establishment for the last three decades has been the fact that home schooled childern, on average, outperform government schooled children. The only way to stop this is to erect a beureaucratic barrier system in the schools that makes governmet school attendence necessary to obtain credentials required to take college entrance exams. Once this occurs, home schooled children will find themselves institutionally locked out and denied access to college entrance exams. Thus the cultural Marxist/crypt-Fascist political liberal lock on education of the youth will be complete.

    • Lana K. Inman

      Love this comment. So true,.No voter IDs but IDs for college testing!!!

      • alphapapa

        Sorry Lana, that is not an entirely accurate statement. I have had to show my government issued ID in Florida since I started voting in 1969.

      • TheSleeperhasAwakened


        Go vote without an ID (as many times as you would like), but if you want to take a test we’re going to need a drop of your blood!!!

        All I hear now is the doo doo doo doo Twilight Zone music playing in the background everyday I wake up and read the news.

        GOD HELP US ALL!

    • JBSPuddintane

      No problem.
      This will backfire.
      The best, homeschooled students will go to private colleges, such as Hillsdale, which accept no government money, and have their own acceptance-standards.
      Do not fret…it leads only to evil.

      • E.

        You really do not know much about home schoolers do you?
        I was home schooled through 10th grade, then due to a family emergency, I was placed in government school. I always tested higher than any of my classmates and when I went to take the ACT, I had scores so high I could have gotten into any school I so chose. I have since graduated from college and am now getting a masters. So, I would advise you to research home schooing before bashing it. And no. Jesus is not the answer to everything.

      • Jennifer

        You don’t know many homeschoolers, do you? In fact, I would be surprised if you know more than one family of homeschoolers.

        This statement is wildly inaccurate.

      • Advocate_Mom

        More and more parents that can’t afford private education are home schooling to keep their kids out of the public school system. By and large, today’s public schools are more of a hotbed of socialist indoctrination than solid core academics. Statistics prove that, on average, home schooled students perform far better on standardized tests than public school students do. Check out the increasing number of home-schooled winners of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. (P.S. Overlooking the obvious typos, it’s chemistry and prestigious.)

      • discipulus publius

        Not entirely true. There is nothing wrong with parents exercising their parental responsibilities when it comes to the education of their children. Many states require that the parents who home school actually use an approved curricula. Companies like A Beka offer quality books, support, and subject matter for parents to use. It is not cheap by any means. They do provide courses for high school students such as chemestry, physics, foreign languages, calculus, and trigonometry. They have step by step guides for parents, offer a toll free number for parents running into problems, and even web based tutors to assist with the “upper level” classes.

        As someone who teaches at a liberal arts college, I find many of them are better academically prepared for college level course work than thier public school peers.

        • HomeyD

          anyone who’s evaluated A Beka with any sort of standards will realize just how deficient it is. as a liberal arts college teacher (unless you’re teaching for the college that publishes the A Beka line), you should know this.

          • discipulus publius

            Actually, I teach U.S. history and U.S. foreign policy. Many of the A Beka home schooled college students have a much better than average vocabulary, can spell (and use the correct form of various words), and take their studies seriously. Unfortunately, they do not have the necessary skills to actually articulate their arguments in a public setting orally – this is the largest downside to home schooling that I see. There are other home school curricula besides A Beka, but off the top of my head, I could not think of them – which is why I focused on the A Beka program. It is nice to see students that are able to come to their own conclusions – even if they are a product of their religious faith – than to repeat the babble they learn from their high school teachers blindly and without knowing why they hold those views.

            I have come to the cold hard truth that public education has failed not only their students but society as well. What America needs is true educational reform, ending the dominance of the teachers’ unions and hold teachers accountable.

  • southerngentleman

    Oh! This is so rich. The same establishment that doesn’t think it is necessary to verify voting regestration status and require a valid ID to vote. Want to make sure an 17 or 18 year old is who he or she says they are to take a test. Oh, I forgot, asking for ID for an election is racist. But asking for a valid ID to take a test is to deter cheating. Anyone else dumbfounded as I am.

    • Winston Smith

      Only in Amerika

    • whodat1

      Da’ Komerad!

  • Random Person 83

    This is needlessly expensive. But this is not by any stretch DNA. Way to freak people out.

  • TooMuchControl

    So Ends the Reign of the SAT.

    There is NO WAY I would permit my child to give away his/her personal identity and private information in order to take an SAT.

    I promise that the Colleges will have to use another scam for admitting students. Perhaps their life long history in school. What were there grade averages from Kindergarten through 12th grade.
    Perhaps their community service or other aspects of their life.

    BUT IN NO WAY will I permit my child to submit to DNA hijacking. Especially by a SCHOOL or a Government.

    • Calm Observer

      This is not actual physiological DNA, you didn’t read the article carefully enough. It’s a DIGITAL DNA SIGNATURE based on a personal photo only. They are not going to draw blood. Did you notice the funny little square box pboto on a card near the end of the story. Using the term DNA was very stupid of these people, why not just use the term photo-based digital fingerprint?

      • Smith404

        I agree with Calm Observer – absolutely NO blood drawing required.

        Bet (although I do NOT have data) “phantom” SAT test taking is much more common than people realize.

        • sid

          i don’t see that as such a problem when the whole higher education process is the scam that it is.just the case of a scam getting scammed

  • Hoser

    And no ID at all is required to vote.

    …But wait! There’s more! Under Obamacare, student loans are issued by the government instead of banks. Remember the GM dealers who lost their dealership where donors to Republicans. You can bet if your daddy or mommy donated to those bad ol’ Repubs, you won’t be getting a student loan. Ok, sure, that will never happen. Never, ever. Keep telling yourself that.

    • Michael H.

      The dealership nonsense was debunked. More owners of dealerships identified as Republicans than Democrats, so of course more Republicans than Democrats would lose their GM dealerships.

      Go ahead and ignore the facts, though.

  • MassJim

    Can this be applied to the voting booth?

  • jay

    right so you cant get into college with out a smart phone. nothing like weeding out the poor before they even applym eh?

    also i’d like to pint out that there’s no such as “I.T. sysem of wireless connections called the “CLOUD””. the “cloud” is a euphamism for the internet 2 where you have no rights to maintain your own data and it must be store on corporate owned servers for a monthly never ending fee

  • Yirmin Snipe

    News flash for the law makers. The system will not be paid for by the College Board or Testing Service, the system will be paid for by parents. A fee for the card, and a higher fee to take the test. For a system like this expect at least 150 for a card and another 100 increase for the testing. And here’s the best part, the data and image will then be sold to the government so they can have a free database of everyone.

    • BuddyP

      The database won’t be populated by everyone. The illegal aliems=ns won’t need to be registerd.

  • Jason Keighin

    now on top of homeschooling ive got to teach my children throughout college too,this is great …who wants to go partners with me in buyin an island!!!!

    • David Kramer

      I say we just kick the morons off our island………….the US of A!

      • jay

        starting with you. usa is attached to canada on one side and mexico on the other. therefore the usa is not an island

        • AE

          I think it was a metaphore, dude.

          • David Kramer

            Don’t confuse jay, he has hard enough time with his skewed vision of reality to deal with. Metaphor? He will have to google it.

            • AE

              Not as confused as I when I spelled metaphor with an E on the end!

  • PS

    Since they are now wanting to collect student academic data in a permanent record maybe they can just compare what they think a student’s score should be to what the results are and then surmise that a student was someone else! In fact, why have an SAT at all? Just tell every student what they can do with their life and what they will achieve like in the Soviet Union. Obama and his minions need to go before we are all treated like caged animals. Life liberty, and the pursuit of happiness not DNA identification, strip searches on planes, etc. This country has gone to the dogs – and taxpayers are forced to subsidize these dogs who receive generous Federal benefits.

  • LG

    All this because 30 students were caught cheating. So what? Who cares? They are going to make millions of people become sheeple because a couple hundred students get into a “good” school. They will probably flunk out and if they don’t WHO CARES????!!!!

    • Yirmin Snipe

      well the reality is cheating like this has been going on for decades. I remember back in the 80’s there was a dude that would take your SAT,ACT,GMAT,LSAT… whatever test for you and guarantee a certain score…

      The bigger shock should be that even with all the cheating that goes on, you don’t hear about students ever being caught once they get into those elite schools…If the testing really amounted to a hill of beans, wouldn’t you expect that the students that cheated to get in would be caught once they got there because the really weren’t Ivy material?

      The only reason you don’t hear of that is that the test really don’t predict anything worth a flip… they just make millions for the testing companies and test prep companies.

  • Lizzie Hough

    Get a life before the government takes yours…. and the rest of your liberty… away. No way is this a good idea. Unbelievable.


    America..the managed, mandated,molested & miserable.

  • Shawn P

    “Progressive” are pathetic.

    They want to require a DNA test to take a college entrance exam, but somehow merely requiring a valid ID to vote in a national election is “racist” and aimed at “suppressing the minority vote.”

    Truly pathetic.

    • bound2drift

      excellent point.

    • Michael H.

      “Digital DNA” not DNA as it pertains to your genetic code. No cheek swabs, no blood drawn. The “DNA” in this case is an identification card, nothing more. Please read the article before you spout nonsense.

      • Kathleen

        Ok. Maybe if he phrased it this way: “They want to require a photo-based digital fingerprint to take a college entrance exam, but somehow merely requiring a valid ID to vote in a national election is “racist” and aimed at “suppressing the minority vote.” would you understand his point?

        • Michael H.

          Make it easier (read: FREE) for voters to get ID cards and then we’ll talk about voter ID laws. As it stands requiring IDs at the polling centers disenfranchises the poor and the elderly. It’s not about race, despite what you may have heard. Anybody who claims it’s purely about race is delusional. It’s about poverty. Poor whites will be just as disenfranchised and poor blacks. This also ignores the fact that voter fraud (NOT registration fraud, which is a different animal altogether) is such a rare occurrence that it has a statistically zero chance of affecting the results of an election. I understood his point just fine. Unfortunately for Shawn, his point was wrong on multiple levels.

  • joe

    fcku the cloud

  • george jones

    ….an I.T. system of wireless connections called the ‘CLOUD’.

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Somebody get this guy on tape and autotune this, pronto!

  • PharmaceuticalSciencesProfessor

    This is so ridiculous. Give money that would be spent implementing this crap to schools so they can teach the students a thing or two!!! We spend so much money on un-needed junk. The TSA, the wars, this kinda stuff. Its all garbage and way to invasive. For what it is worth, making a single exam have any weight in if someone goes to college or not is unnecessary. Let students write a paper or attend some classes at a college and see if the college and student feel that they are a good match.

  • Mark

    And they don’t want to allow a picture ID to vote but they want this? What is our govt thinking?

    • gunslinger

      They are thinking about controlling you! If they did this for voting then the people would be controlling them!

      • Snitch-in-Time

        The issues are never the issue, the issue is always power.
        The policies are never the policy, the policy is always control.
        The law is never the law, the law is always domination.

        Understand these and you will fully understand the political left and their agenda.

        • Jennifer

          The political right, as well.

  • Linda

    …and then people scream when you just have to show your ID to vote. Hypocrites.

  • blahblahblah

    I have an idea… Let’s teach kids it’s WRONG TO CHEAT! GASP! But… Lawmakers would never think of that because THAT’S HOW YOU GET TO BE A LAWMAKER!

  • Art

    SAT/ACT? I believe most schools no longer require this test for admittance. It may be considered discrimination against non English first language applicants.

  • Andrew Bulles

    Why not just have the parents of the test taker present the student and have that student’s picture taken and printed upon the testing report when it is sent back to the parents or the school requiring a SAT score verification. Seems so much simpler to me as a way to prevent fraud without this ridiculous infringement of individual liberty and privacy. If the pictures don’t match then no school enrollment acceptance. TOO EASY, I KNOW.

  • Jeff Malkus

    What everyone is missing here is that there is some company out there who is hoping to make millions by selling an elected idiot on this silly plan. Can’t blame private enterprise. There are hundreds of millions of dollars to made by capitalizing on a politician’s desire to to “fix” something that grabs headlines. Pure short sighted idiocy.

  • Crosscut

    Another useful tool to use against Democrat voter fraud.

  • Charles Hannon

    I have worked on security related research for more years than I want to admit, but I started when the enemy was the USSR. There is no such thing as foolproof digital security. The very nature of the process makes that impossible. This is just another example of the complete disconnect that exist between current university research and the real world.

  • SerfCityHereWeCome

    I can’t believe anyone actually bothers cheating on the SAT; it’s been so embarrassingly dumbed down in the appx 30 years since I took it (which was already a dumbed down version of the 1950s version my parents took) that by now it’s like cheating on a freaking Civil Service exam. When I took it, anything less than about a 1250 out of 1600 made you essentially unfit for anything but organ harvesting. Now, it’s out of 2400(!) so that same 1600 today would barely be worthy of a seat on the short bus (at best).

  • Hank Ripple

    My answer is Home School or Private/Church School.
    Does anybody fed up w/this excrement STILL think letting the Government run Schools is a good idea? Politics ALWAYS becomes involved, education and/or Freedom suffers, then the kids suffer, then WE suffer.

    “He governs best who governs least!” T. Jefferson <– We REALLY need to go back to the basics.

  • Bruce Morin

    Government surveillance!. Start with them young then for the next 60 years we can track there every move. Bio-metric technology can then be employed at every street corner, airport, and bar under the guise that it will help “exonerate” them if a crime is committed.

    Our children have no conception of the huge number of civil right that have already been revoked for “homeland security” purposes because they have no baseline for civil right that many of us enjoyed in the past. And their children stripped even more. Combine “The Giver”, “1984”, and “Fahrenheit 451” and you see the chilling path ahead.

  • BigBoa

    The students should just declare that it’s too “inconvenient”….

    Isn’t that Holder’s and O’Bozo’s excuse for not requiring picture ID to vote?

    Another article pointed out that schools are keeping quite the stack of files on all students, containing info that is of none of their business. Of course, in most states, neither parents nor students can get access to these “files”,,,but government can.

    This is a rogue government and it is totally out of control….

  • BigBoa

    Just make all men, rich or poor, free or bond, receiveth a mark in the right hand or forehead……

  • Long

    This article is incoherent at best and makes me wonder if the writer is who he/she says. Oh wait…they were too embarrassed to put their name on it.

    Why don’t you try again, CBS–this time with a writer who presumably took the SAT or ACT before going to college.

  • Gerimya

    Can use spell B-I-G B-R-O-T-H-E-R? Maybe the dolts who dream this stuff up should do a little more reading and critical thinking themselves! If not, then I would suggest that requiring SATs by state schools would be an unconstitutional intrusion and by private schools an illegal monopolization and combination in restraint of trade.

  • Fentiman

    What? You need a legal ID? Why, that’s racist and discriminatory!!!! I guess poor people aren’t allowed to take the SAT, right? Or maybe they’ll just be allowed to cheat.

  • worriedforusa

    This kind of security for a standardized test? HOW ABOUT DOING THIS WITH VOTER IDS?!?!?

  • ed

    Looks to me like this is a cover story for getting metrics on people so that they can be precisely identified via pattern recognition software in digital surveillance feeds. In other words, if you are on a “list’ and you pop up at an airport, the program will instantly recognize you based on this “digital dna library” that programs like this will help the security agencies create.. It scheme to collect raw data for the new surveillance state/police state. My guess is that we will be seeing this as a requirement for all types of things in the near future: Professional licences, and there will always be some alternative explanation for why this is necessary. This is no longer the land of the free, what more can be said??

  • mike

    Yeah, 666 is going everywhere on this planet, look at the 1.2 billion that did it for the welfare system in India, there will be different reasons or ways to start the one world govt, they won’t touch me or my child! People better repent and accept Jesus as Savior before the rapture or lie down and take whats coming to them. The one in control has a name that means “THE ONE”! People that thinks he’s “Cool and good looking” to vote for him will be the first!

    • jay

      lie down and die or beg jesus for forgiveness? i havent been a christian for a long time but didnt jesus give specific advice fighting the wicked?

    • wasistdas


  • chris

    I think it is hilarious that half the commenters did not even read the post and have no clue what they are commenting about. Funny as heck and very representative of the public these days – uninformed and running their mouths about something they have no clue about.

    • hebgb

      Chris – You mean like the idiots that voted into office this disaster and his slow motion train wreck of an administration? Those idiots who pushed this incomprehensible failure on our economy?

      • chris

        No, no, no much worse, I mean like the ones that would vote him in for a second term. I know the other choices are not that spectacular and anyone other than Ron Paul would be a plug and play puppet like our current potus, but honestly, another 4 years of this? The entitlement votes are expanding under his watch that’s for sure.

  • Locke

    Police state madness. They are making the whole country a prison.

    • Scott

      No doubt about it !

    • chris


  • Wolverine Gene

    Voter I.D.

  • hollyJ

    but voting without ID is ok?

  • evil libertarian

    but a simple state id to vote is racist or something

  • SprayMister

    This doesn’t make any sense: “It’s a great way for people to really be who they are when they take the test, and try to fake it,” Massapequa High School graduate Jennifer Karp told McLogan.

    • DNA

      I think who ever wrote this article meant to type “and try NOT to fake it.”

  • mak

    This is such a bad idea on so many levels …

    • BadPenny

      Totally agree with you, bad idea on so many levels…….but it’s a great idea for the government to get the DNA of students without much complaint. Kinda like how we all rolled over to let TSA grope us and infringe on our 4th amendment rights, all in the name of safety. This is the same all in the name of preventing fake test takers.

  • Sam

    Before anyone freaks out, it should be clarified that it is NOT the student’s DNA that is being used, it is plant DNA that is used to tie a unique DNA code to the test taker.

    • BadPenny

      If that is the case then how exactly is it any different then using a state issued photo id? The photo can be verified before and after taking the test just as the “DNA picture” can be verified before and after the test.

      • Sam

        it is the same as a state issued ID or social security number, this is just much more difficult to counterfeit.

  • BSS

    ETS is a greed based company that only wants to secure it sales chain. It has no interest in valid education testing. Teacher’s grades and student achievement are the primary indicators of student success that are used in most countries and are still the most accurate indicators of success. SAT’s and ETS should be dropped from education system. I agree this will lead to national lawsuits as an invasion of privacy and personal civil liberties.

    • Peter Connor

      Wrong, at least in the US. Plenty of kids graduate from high schools with good grades whose knowledge and skills are woeful. And the pronounced bias against boys and original thinking in most high schools renders grades and class rank even more suspect as an indicator.
      ALL of the high tech companies that I know test applicants rigorously before even interviewing them, which doesn’t reflect well on academic records as a measure of usefulness.

  • Just Thinking

    They should discontinue the SAT testing altogether, it serves no academic purpose. This will lead to massive lawsuits, and people will refuse to give ETS their DNA.

  • Beverly Damman

    absolutely unbreakable is a statement reminiscent of the titanic. DNA is a privacy no one should be forced to give up in exchange for their job.

  • 666

    666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666 666


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