Biometric facial recognition/scanning has been used in schools for a variety of reasons; to log late students, to identify persons unknown, to identify students and teachers for registration, to verify computer users, use in nurseries and to track facial expressions.
On this website where there term 'facial recognition' is used this means on a system a face identifies a person by name. The system is recognised a face to be, say, John Smith.
When the term 'facial detection' is used, this may be a face that is recognised to another face or simply that a system has determined a face is there, no named identification.
The way either of these systems work is by distinguishing that a set of pixels, logged by a camera, is suggesting that there is a face present. Quite what the biometric system does with that data then varies.
The facial recognition systems listed below have different functions, some to alert the school is there is an unknown face/person there, some to detect if there is a person on premises that is on a blacklist, some to access entrance, some for registration. Each function has differing layers of privacy implications for students and the responsibility for the school administration/data controllers. There is also a level of responsibility to be had by the suppliers of these systems.
Over the coming weeks we will endeavour to look at each system, assess it's performance, whether claims made about safety, time savings are held up.
This is a brand new technology and its emerging use must be transparent and there also must be a facility about consent and full disclosure about how students captured data is used now and in the future from such systems.
Here are the known instances of biometric facial systems that are being used, proposed to be used or discontinued in schools (excluding universities). This list excludes China.
2010 - not continued Christopher Hatton School, supplied by Aurora https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1317520/School-installs-9k-facial-recognition-cameras-stop-students-turning-late.html
TexasTexas City High School, Texas Independent School District https://www.wired.com/story/delicate-ethics-facial-recognition-schools/
Texas Fort Bend Independent School District https://communityimpact.com/houston/sugar-land-missouri-city/education/2019/03/05/new-security-initiatives-fort-bend-isd-campuses/
OklahomaPutham City Schools Oklahoma https://www.news9.com/story/40947710/putnam-city-schools-step-up-security-with-facial-recognition-software
New YorkLockport Schools New York https://www.lockportjournal.com/news/local_news/citizens-petition-lcsd-to-postpone-security-project/article_e8d547e1-0e3a-5a2e-81c3-5879422548c2.html on hold
NB - FR banned in New York Schools
All biometric technology suspended in NY schools until July 2022
https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/a6787 Enacted Dec 2020, primarily because of the FR being introduced created controversy, but the bill also covers other biometric technologies.
From EPIC: “The ban will last for two years or until a study by the State Education Department is complete and finds that facial recognition technology is appropriate for use in schools, whichever takes longer”.
St. Therese Catholic Academy in Seattle https://www.educationdive.com/news/does-facial-recognition-technology-make-schools-safer/547520/ https://www.edsurge.com/news/2019-01-31-with-safety-in-mind-schools-turn-to-facial-recognition-technology-but-at-what-cost
WyomingWyoming Girls School, Sheridan https://www.wyomingbusinessreport.com/current_edition/could-schools-and-events-be-safr-with-facial-recognition/article_57047a5e-5bd5-11e9-91c0-a311b3dbebd2.html
FloridaBroward County School District in Broward County, Florida, at 36 schoolshttps://www.usnews.com/news/education-news/articles/2019-01-07/broward-county-schools-to-install-facial-recognition-cameras
ArkansasMagnolia School District http://www.magnoliareporter.com/education/article_3734adf2-2693-11e8-bbc1-97d4c055b608.html
St LouisSt Mary's High school using facial rec since 2015 https://www.biometricupdate.com/201505/st-louis-school-deploys-facial-recognition-system-to-improve-security-ibia-case-study
MissouriWest Platte School District https://www.biometricupdate.com/201905/necs-facial-recognition-technology-to-authenticate-students-during-school-exams
Miscschool districts and universities in Texas, Florida, Massachusetts, and California https://venturebeat.com/2018/09/25/deepnorths-school-security-system-uses-ai-and-cameras-to-detect-threats/
VictoriaTo authenticate students in exams https://www.biometricupdate.com/201905/necs-facial-recognition-technology-to-authenticate-students-during-school-exams
Ballarat Clarendon College in Victoria
Victoria Sacred Heart College’s Year 11 classes https://www.kidsnews.com.au/technology/australian-schools-begin-spying-trials-using-facial-recognition-technology/news-story/2d38f743af6309dd2f68f696c3ffedc1
https://twitter.com/9NewsAUS/status/1190528238402932737 video in 5 schools
Facial recognition for monitoring attendance at Anderstorp Secondary School in Skellefteå municipality https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=234212
Swedish Data Protection Authority decision against the use of facial recognition - August 2019 https://www.datainspektionen.se/globalassets/dokument/beslut/facial-recognition-used-to-monitor-the-attendance-of-students.pdf
Sweden— consent is not an adequate valid basis for use given they power imbalance between the public authority and the child/ family
FRANCELes Eucalyptus High School, Nice
Ampère High School, Marselle
October 2019 - Illegal to implement https://www.cnil.fr/fr/experimentation-de-la-reconnaissance-faciale-dans-deux-lycees-la-cnil-precise-sa-position
FR is not necessary or proportionate when less invasive processing means are available