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Facial recognition in schools: here are the risks to children

Nine schools in the area recently launched this practice as a means to take payment for lunches more quickly and minimise COVID risk, though they’ve since paused rolling out the technology.

October 28, 2021 / 10:29 AM IST
Ever since schools closed last spring, many kids across the country have been excited to get back into the classroom but some parents have remained hesitant to send their children back, even as more schools prepare to begin in-person learning. (Dominic Kesterton/The New York Times)

Ever since schools closed last spring, many kids across the country have been excited to get back into the classroom but some parents have remained hesitant to send their children back, even as more schools prepare to begin in-person learning. (Dominic Kesterton/The New York Times)

In conversation with my teenage daughter last week, I pointed out a news report which flagged concerns over the use of facial recognition technologies in several school canteens in North Ayrshire, Scotland.

Nine schools in the area recently launched this practice as a means to take payment for lunches more quickly and minimise COVID risk, though they’ve since paused rolling out the technology.

When I asked my daughter if she would have any concerns about the use of facial recognition technology in her school canteen, she casually replied: Not really.

It would make things a lot faster at checkout though. When I asked my daughter if she would have any concerns about the use of facial recognition technology in her school canteen, she casually replied: Not really.