Nine schools in North Ayrshire suspend facial recognition-based lunch distribution plans
Inquired by the Office of the Information Commissioner (ICO) in the United Kingdom, nine schools in North Ayrshire suspended the use of facial recognition technology a few days after the introduction of the technology. These schools expect students to use the system to pay for non-contact lunches. However, the North Ayrshire Council stated that it has “temporarily suspended” the promotion of the technology.
In addition, Great Academy Ashton, located in Lower Lane, Ashton, has decided to completely abandon the promotion of facial recognition systems. Principal David Waugh said this was a response to the recent comments made by ICO regarding the potential intrusiveness of facial recognition in school environments. He said: “The combination of fingerprint and facial recognition system is part of the upgrade of the cashless system in the catering industry, which can reduce the time for serving students and provide a better dining experience. However, we will not use facial recognition features.”
Last week, the ICO responded to media reports about the introduction of facial recognition programs in schools, stating that institutions should consider adopting “less intrusive” methods as much as possible.
In addition, Professor Fraser Sampson, the Commissioner of Biometrics and Surveillance Cameras in England and Wales, told the BBC that he hopes to consider the use of facial recognition in public service agencies that “decided to use an obviously intrusive measure like facial recognition.” Think carefully before.
Privacy activists also criticized the school’s plan.
On Friday, the North Ayrshire Council said on Twitter that it has decided to temporarily suspend the facial recognition system in the middle school because it has received some inquiries about the technology.
The committee added: “Although we believe that the new facial recognition system is operating as planned, we believe that when considering the enquiries received, it is prudent to revert to the previous Pin (personal identification number) system.”
Jen Persson, director of Defend Digital Me, a digital rights organization focused on children, said she welcomes the committee’s decision. She said: “From the United States to Europe, the authorities are banning facial recognition. But in the United Kingdom, we are using children as the most privacy-invasive technology mice on the market.”
The BBC learned that another school in the UK planned to use facial recognition technology when paying for lunch, but the school either reconsidered the move or cancelled it altogether.
CRB Cunninghams, a company that provides facial recognition systems to schools, pointed out on its website that its technology can be used in conjunction with popular masks to achieve an average service time of 5 seconds per student.