UK Cancels Implementing Lunch Payment Scheme With Facial Recognition, Here's Why!
UK schools have stopped rolling out facial recognition scans. (photo credit: pixabay)

JAKARTA - Some time ago schools in the UK intended to adopt a payment scheme for lunch with facial recognition, but now that plan has been cancelled.

UK schools have stopped rolling out CRB Cunningham's facial recognition scans in cafeterias following a backlash from data watchers and privacy advocates.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the UK's privacy and data regulator, stepped in after nine schools in North Ayrshire, Scotland, began scanning students' faces to receive payment for school lunches.

It is planned that more schools will implement the new payment scheme. This is because this tool is claimed to be fast, and without the need for physical contact in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quoted from ZDNet, Tuesday, October 26, however, the ICO was quick to note that while law enforcement is heavily criticized for using the same technology, implementing it in schools may not be advisable.

The ICO told The Guardian that the organization will be contacting the North Ayrshire Council to discuss data protection laws regarding minors and to see if less intrusive payment options will be available.

As replaced with contactless payments on cards or fingerprint readers, which were previously widely used in the United Kingdom (UK). Citing BBC International, the North Ayrshire Council has reportedly suspended the programme, and one school has completely shut down the scheme.

"While we believe the new facial recognition system is operating as planned, we feel it is prudent to return to the previous PIN system while we consider inquiries received," the North Ayrshire Council said in a post on Twitter.

Previously reported, CRB Cunningham argued that the facial recognition system would address privacy and security concerns. They note that the hardware does not use live facial recognition or actively scan crowds, and is examining encrypted face print templates.

In fact, parents are worried that if using a conventional PIN there will be various kinds of fraud, therefore implementing a facial recognition system is a safer solution. The North Ayrshire Council also recently stated that 97 percent of children or parents have given their consent to the implementation of the new payment scheme.


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