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NY Senator Wants Prison Time For College Entrance Exam Cheaters

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Digital DNA

If you plan on taking college entrance tests in the future you may be subjected to a new “digital DNA” scan, one that researchers say can’t be beaten by fraud. (Photo courtesy: Stony Brook University)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Since the SAT and ACT cheating scandals broke open on Long Island, lawmakers have pledged to come up with means to combat the identity fraud.

Suffolk County Senator Kenneth LaValle wants to make cheating on college entrance exams a crime. He released a draft bill Tuesday making the crime a felony, punishable by prison sentences.

Lawmakers are also taking a look at a high-tech ID system aimed at preventing cheating.

Click here to read the draft legislation.

“A novel system that’s absolutely unbreakable for securing the identity of a student taking the SAT exam,” said Dr. James Hayward at the applied DNA sciences lab in Stony Brook University.

“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 CBS 2′s Jennifer 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.

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