Schools to use facial recognition for lunch payments

Nine secondary schools in North Ayrshire are set to begin taking payments for school lunches using facial recognition, according to sources reported by The Financial Times.

The sources claimed the new system is faster and more Covid safe compared to the cards and scanners they were using previously.

David Swanston, managing director of education solution provider CRB Cunninghams who is providing the solution, told The Financial Times that “it’s faster than card, it’s faster than fingerprint”.

Swanston told the FT the scheme has already been piloted by Kingsmeadow Community school in Gateshead during the summer of 2020, and that the technology is different from live facial recognition (LFR).

LFR is typically deployed similarly to traditional CCTV and is aimed at everyone in a particular area rather than specific individuals.

UK schools have used biometrics, such as fingerprints, for certain uses cases since the early 2000’s.

The vast majority - 97 per cent - of children or parents have given consent for the new system according to the North Ayrshire council.

The European Union announced in April that it is set to ban the use of artificial intelligence (AI) systems for “high risk” applications such as mass surveillance or ranking social behaviour.

Companies could face fines of 4 per cent of global revenue - or €20 million, if greater - if they fail to comply with the new rules or report correct information, like GDPR rules. LINK

Biometrics are gradually gaining acceptance as a form of payment; 2019 research found that that 30 per cent of the British public prefer typing in a password compared to new biometric methods, half that of 2016.

https://www.fstech.co.uk/fst/GMX_Survey_Passwords_Versus_Biometrics.php

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