NEWS28 August 2019

Swedish school fined for facial recognition

Europe GDPR News Technology

SWEDEN – The Swedish data protection authority has fined a high school for using facial recognition to record student attendance.

Security camera facial recognition_crop

The 200,000 Swedish krona penalty is the first fine issued by the country’s Data Inspectorate for breaching the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The regulator said that the school board in Skelleftea violated GDPR when it trialled using the technology via cameras to assess lesson attendance. The trial lasted three weeks and affected 22 school pupils, according to the watchdog.

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.