Facial recognition tech at schools fuels privacy debate

SEATTLE (AP) — Facial recognition technology is being used to increase security at one Seattle school, but the technology is fueling debate about privacy concerns.

The Seattle Times reports that the company RealNetworks began offering the technology free to K-12 schools this summer in an effort to improve school security.

It’s in use at the private elementary University Child Development School. The school gave parents the option of adding their face to the database, and so far about 300 parents have done so. If a parent’s face is recognized by the system, they door opens, reducing the need for someone inside the school to answer a buzzer.

Parent Ana Hedrick says the system is convenient and feels safe. Adam Schwartz with the digital privacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation says school security is a serious issue but the damage to privacy from facial recognition technology could be high.