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The Brunswick County (U.S.) school board is prepared to spend $763,000 to add AI to its facilities’ CCTV system

Maybe recognizing that many U.S. communities will gamble the privacy of school-aged children for promises of safety on campus, AI skeptics are beseeching parents to at least challenge vendor pitches.

Always a good message, caveat emptor may not be enough to slow the welcoming biometric recognition trend in schools.

Biometrics skeptics at an education conference this month said vendors are marketing fear and sometimes overpromising results. No matter how small the chances are (and they are small), tragedy is 100 percent certain when it happens to a family.

Digital surveillance in general can unintentionally marginalize groups in schools, according to an account of the conference by trade publication EdScoop. Of course there’s also the chance that biometrics will leak.

ACLU senior policy counsel reportedly said administrators, boards and parents have to avoid making surveillance decisions based on fear. “Rely on data, proven facts,” Chad Marlow is quoted saying.

That isn’t overriding concerns for a North Carolina county school system.

The Brunswick County school board is prepared to spend $763,000 to add AI to its facilities’ CCTV system. Milestone Systems will set up video analysis software. Two other vendors, A3 Communications and Cambridge Computer Services, reportedly also are participating.

Facial recognition reportedly is not part of the upgrade, according to an article posted by WECT-TV. The software being added will allow for retrospective analysis of video. A red shirt could be searched, for example, according to the story.

The schools’ technology director is quoted defending the cost by saying, “It’s about the safety of the children.”

Another pair of vendors are part of a voluntary object-recognition program watching for weapons in Utah primary and second schools.

According to the Daily Utah Chronicle, the state board of education is making grants to  districts wanting detection systems integrated by AEGIX Global and ZeroEyes. They have signed on to a $3 million contract that ends in June 2025.

ZeroEyes object recognition software is designed to spot trouble within five seconds after a video frame is collected on a preprogramed schedule. Alerts would be sent to company facility from which a call to police would be made.

The money committed is a token sum. According to the Chronicle, a safety specialist working for the state board, said the license only covers four cameras per school. Beyond that, individual school districts would have to request more money from lawmakers.

Article: AI surveillance in US schools becoming the safe bet

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