EDUCATION: Rennie presses the First Minister on facial recognition technology in schools. 

By Lucy Ashton

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Willie Rennie has called on the First Minister to intervene in the roll-out of facial recognition in schools.

This comes after one council announced a roll-out of a contactless payment system for scvhool meals for example, which uses facial recognition in its schools.

Mr Rennie, right,  said:  “The First Minister’s fence sitting isn’t good enough. This is about children’s rights. And she doesn’t seem to be bothered.

“The United Kingdom Information Commissioner has called a halt to the scheme in North Ayrshire, but it should never have got this far.

“The SNP Government previously opposed the Scottish Biometrics Commissioner having a role in health and education.

“If the First Minister won’t intervene on facial recognition, will she at least now support the expansion of the remit of the Biometrics Commissioner so that he can intervene.” 

Scottish Liberal Democrats secured a Biometrics Commissioner for Scotland in the last parliament.

During those debates, Liberal Democrats argued that biometrics are increasingly being seen in areas like schools and health.

However, the Scottish Government insisted that the Commissioners should be limited to justice, against the advice of experts. That means even though Scotland has a Biometrics Commissioner, they can’t actually look at how this technology is being used in schools.

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