New security technology has been implemented in schools to keep students safe.
Lakeport City School District has been making headlines for installing a facial recognition school surveillance system in a high school, a middle school, six elementary schools, and an administrative building within its district. The technology scans student’s faces upon their entering the school, checking for matches in the security database.
A state grant awarded the school distract the $4 million in funds required to install the system.
The Lakeport City School District is using a facial recognition system developed by SN Technologies Corp. To implement the system, Motherboard reported that Lockport is installing or updating 417 cameras.
The new cameras and wiring for the facial recognition school surveillance will reportedly provide viewing and automated facial and object recognition of live and recorded surveillance video. Moreover, the system requires surveillance servers for the purpose of proving enhanced storage of recorded video and processing.
Some worry that the facial recognition school surveillance could invade student privacy.
Although the surveillance system has been installed with the primary goal of protecting students from unwanted threats, local parents, privacy advocates and even some legislators feel that such a system could invade on student privacy. As such, the inclusion of this system within the school district has been quite controversial.
Still, proponents of the system argue that it could give schools the couple extra precious minutes needed to act in the event an unwanted person is on school grounds, especially if this person is armed.
SN Technologies Corp. is the parent comment of Aegis, the company that has developed the proprietary software used in Lockport’s facial recognition security system. This software is capable of spotting guns that may appear in video footage and can alert school officials if anyone from the local Sex Offenders Registry enters the school. Moreover, it can also be programmed to detect fired employees, suspended students, known gang members, etc.
While Lakeport City School District is the first to give the facial recognition school surveillance system a test run, 20 other US school districts are also reportedly considering moving forward with implementing this technology within their schools.