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UK Schools Scanning Children Faces To Charge Money For Lunch

pay for lunch UK schools scan children faces

Many schools in Scotland have taken a very innovative step and have incorporated facial recognition software allowing students to pay for their meals much more effectively. The software scans the faces of students at the tills and compares them with the data stored. This allows the children to pay for their food quickly during lunch hours.

UK Schools scan children faces via facial recognition software

9 schools in North Ayrshire, Scotland have installed facial recognition software at the tills that scan the faces of students. The software then checks them against a record saved in the school servers to make the payment process easier.

The company that has developed the software claims this to be a more Covid-friendly method while ensuring a quicker queue time for students. According to a report from The Financial Times, with the incorporation of the system, the transaction time at sites of operation has been lowered down to 5 seconds.

David Swanston, the CEO of the company behind the installation of these systems told Financial Times: “In a secondary school you have around about a 25 minute period to serve potentially 1,000 pupils. So we need fast throughput at the point of sale.”


With every new innovation, there comes a lot of criticism. In this case too, privacy campaigners have been very critical.

The privacy campaigners say that less intrusive methods should have been used instead of the implementation of facial recognition.

Parents, however, can opt their children out of the technology. And parents can also request that schools delete their child’s biometric data and records. Privacy advocates are concerned that the measure is intrusive and overbroad.

In England, the Department Of Education says that the use of the technology depends entirely upon the institute. The department added that they keep no information regardless of the extent the technology has spread around us.


About the author

Brendan Byrne

While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala.

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