AUGUST 2019 – Anderstorps High School in Skellefteå, northern Sweden, used facial recognition technology to track 22 student recording pupils as they entered a classroom. This was done over a period of 3 weeks in Autumn 2018.

From ResearchLive: “While the school said it obtained consent from pupils’ guardians, the Data Inspectorate said students cannot consent because they are in a position of dependence on the board. It ruled that using technology to surveil students in their everyday environment intruded on their privacy and that controlling absence could be done in other ways.

The Swedish Data Protection Authority concluded that the program violated several articles of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), see the European Data Protection Board statement, therefore imposing a fine on the municipality of $20,559 (200,000 SEK). The Swedish regulator did not feel that registration was a legally adequate reason to collect such sensitive personal data and that there were less intrusive ways that pupil’s attendance could have been done without involving camera surveillance.

The Nordic company Tieto worked with the school, RFID tagging students, using a phone app and facial recognition to test which was the best way to cut the time taken by teachers on the registration process. The whole project ran for 8 weeks.