Michael Staines
Michael Staines

13.09 19 Jan 2020


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A school in Kilkenny has shelved plans to use facial recognition software to monitor student's attendance.

CBS Kilkenny put the scheme on hold after the Irish Council for Civil Liberties warned that it may be in breach of European data regulations.

Speaking to The Business Post, the school’s principal said he was “surprised” that a parent had raised the issue with the ICCL and said the technology was in use at schools in China and the US.

Irish Council for Civil Liberties' director, Liam Herrick said the proposal raises serious concerns over privacy and GDPR.

“Any company or institution that wants to roll out invasive surveillance technology must carry out a privacy impact assessment beforehand,” he said.

“I think that there are companies out there producing this technology, trying to sell it to private companies who maybe don’t fully appreciate the sensitivity involved with technology of this type.

It comes as the EU considers an outright ban on facial recognition technology in public spaces, while it considers ways of regulating it to ensure it cannot be abused by companies and Governments.

Should it be accepted the ban would remain in place for three to five years while lawmakers consider ways of ensuring citizens’ rights are protected.


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