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School Installs Facial Recognition for Roll Call

Facial recognition technology is being tested in 10 schools in Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire in the United Kingdom and may be rolled out in more schools if the trials prove successful. The system costs £9,000 (just over $14,300) and uses a camera to take 3D photos of students. Pupils must then confirm their identity by entering in a four-digit PIN code.

Though it's aimed at reducing lateness and recording absences, the faceREGISTER system from Aurora Computer Services can also deliver messages to students when they sign in and can be used to track who is in the building during emergencies.

Despite the advantages of the system, privacy advocates are worried that this is another step toward creating a surveillance state. "This is another worrying development in the expansion of the surveillance state," Big Brother Watch campaign director Daniel Hamilton told the Daily Mail. "There is no need for schools to hold such sensitive information about their pupils. Such systems have limited benefits yet are wide open to abuse – from the risk of data theft to misuse by unscrupulous individuals." Hamilton goes on to say both parents and pupils should resist "this encroachment on civil liberties."

Read the full story on the Daily Mail.

*Image credit: Daily Mail