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Efficacy of Facial Recognition Technologies in Schools

A school in China is using facial recognition to scan seven different types of expressions of students. It studies students’ behavior and scans the classroom every 30 seconds. It’s called the Intelligent Classroom Behavior Management system. The system monitors attendance as well.

The application of biometrics to the global education sector is projected to grow by 26% annually between 2017 and 2021, says a report by Technavio. In many parts of APAC and Europe, as in the US, biometrics is already seen as an integral part of school management. The reasons behind adoption, however, are different in different countries. In the US, it is largely because of security risks that schools are trying to identify students and pin down risky behavior. In Europe, it is a part of the strategy for economic development is helping to promote demand for more sophisticated technological infrastructure. In the Asian regions, it is largely to improve school administration efficiency.

However, it is raising some privacy concerns. Especially the facial recognition systems are drawing some criticism from civil liberties advocates, reports Gizmodo. Though everyone agrees that schools are justified in taking care of the students’ security issues, there are concerns being raised about the shortfalls that they face. For instance, facial recognition is less accurate for women and people of color. This has been shown in a research by MIT Lab researcher- there are wide inaccuracies in leading facial recognition techniques. Besides, there have been instances where the CCTV that records students movements have been hacked and their contents made public, in the UK> so, the biggest risk is hacking and abuse of data, specially video data about the students and faculty that could be misused.

India still has some distance to go in installing this kind of technologies for schools, but when we do, given the wide disparities between economic class and geographical areas, it would be desirable that adequate care is taken in terms of security of data generated from such biometric systems.

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