Facial recognition: Why not in schools?

Some schools are already doing it!

Many schools have security systems that include cameras sending live feeds that are monitored by security personnel.

The AP reports that some Lockport, NY  schools are going a step further by implementing facial recognition technology that checks each face against a database of expelled students, sex offenders, disgruntled employees and other possible troublemakers.


In addition, the system can be programmed to scan for some weapon “tells” (think: guns or knives in waistbands) and can be matched against a complete file of student and faculty pictures.

Though the system has potential life-saving benefits, some folks are opposing it…


Among the opponents concerns:

1) Cost … the systems aren’t cheap (but how much is a child’s life worth?)

2) Not fool-proof … not likely to catch all potential attackers (yeah, but what if it catches one?)

3) Privacy … the system is too intrusive (but Facebook info-sharing isn’t?)

4) False positives … facial recognition systems sometimes have difficulty ID’ing persons of color and women (but, aren’t most attackers white males?)

Strikes me that these downsides are all somewhere between silly and manageable…


Follow on Twitter @KenHoma

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