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‘Face recognition’ software is being used by schools to collect lunch money from students

It has been found out that some schools in the UK are using the Face recognition feature to collect money from pupils for their meals. Although nine schools in total out of which the schools in North Ayrshire, Scotland, argue that utilizing the technology is faster and more sanitary than accepting payments with cards or fingerprint scanners, privacy activists fear that the initiative normalizes biometric surveillance.

“With Facial Recognition, pupils simply select their meal, look at the camera and go, making for a faster lunch service whilst removing any contact at the point of sale,” says a brochure sent by the schools to parents.

Children’s biometric data is saved in an encrypted form and destroyed when a kid leaves the school, according to a FAQ page. Parents must opt-in for their children to utilize the technology, and payments can also be verified via a PIN.

According to David Swanston, managing director of CRB Cunninghams, the business in charge of implementing the system, face recognition reduced payment time per child to five seconds on average. Swanston added that the system’s trials began in 2020 and that 65 additional schools have signed up to use it.

According to North Ayrshire Council, 97 percent of children and parents agreed to participate. Some parents, however, were swayed by peer pressure and expressed concern that their children did not completely comprehend what they were signing up for.

Various forms of facial recognition technologies are becoming more widespread across the world. For years, schools in the United States have installed similar devices, generally as a security measure. Last week, Moscow’s metro system began accepting face recognition payments, prompting activists to worry that the technology might be used to track and identify protestors. Facial recognition has been prohibited in several states and localities around the United States, claiming that the technology is typically discriminatory across racial and gender lines.

Politicians and advocacy organizations in the European Union are asking for a ban on the technology, claiming that the risks of its implementation exceed the possible advantages.

Sanskriti

Sanskriti loves technology in general and ensures to keep TheDigitalHacker audience aware of the latest trends, updates, and data breaches.
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