This week, Brown University announced the upcoming roll-out of triple verification on Banner. Several faculty and students had raised security concerns about the site, which the university uses to manage student grades and registration. In response to those concerns, Brown upgraded the antiquated two-step verification authentication system with the addition of a high-tech saliva testing kit.
In the new system, students receive a call or push notification on their phones after entering their login information on banner. After responding to a call or notification, they are prompted to retrieve their Saliva Sequencing Receptacle, or SSR, testing kit. After filling the 8ml black vial with their spit, closing the top, and shaking it, students plug the device into their cell phone and open the TRI Mobile app. The DNA in the spit will be sequenced over the course of about ten. When enough genetic material has been analyzed, the SSR generates a private digital key from the student’s DNA. This code is then transmitted to a Brown Server, where the digits are validated. After verification, the kit will blink green, and Brown University Banner will automatically complete the login process.
A university spokesman stated that “these new authentication protocols now ensure that only the student providing their spittle will get access to their account.”
Students were generally enthusiastic about the initiative. Laura Bower ‘19, stated that she was looking forward to the new measures.“While I definitely will need to get used to grabbing my tester kit and mustering up all that spit before I can view my course cart, I’m glad not just anyone will be able access my grades,” she noted.