RealNetworks publishes best practices guide for using facial recognition in schools

RealNetworks released its Best Practices guide for using facial recognition technology to support safer K-12 campuses.

RealNetworks provides its facial recognition tool SAFR to school administrators free of charge to improve school safety. The release of the guide coincides with The National School Safety Center’s annual Safe Schools Week.

The Best Practices guide for using facial recognition technology in schools raises awareness about security and privacy considerations associated with facial recognition technology. There are six policy areas included in the guide: notice, consent, security, retention, transparency, and management.

“Facial recognition is a new technology for schools. Parents, teachers, and students have an interest in balancing privacy with security so we wanted to offer an introductory guide for schools to develop policies that meet all their needs,” explains Mike Vance, senior director of product management at RealNetworks. “Through our early partnerships with schools and school districts we’ve developed this set of key best practices for creating safer and more secure K-12 campuses. This guide delivers that knowledge to the public, for free.”

Adds Windows support for SAFR facial recognition platform

RealNetworks also announced the availability of SAFR for Windows so K-12 schools in the United States and Canada can now run SAFR on Windows, macOS, and iOS for free. SAFR works with existing IP-based cameras to provide real-time recognition, and supports both local and cloud storage. The software encrypts all facial data and images, and does not transmit personal or facial data over the internet when used locally.

SAFR achieved a 99.8 percent accuracy score with the Labeled Faces in the Wild (LFW) dataset, based on the University of Massachusetts benchmark, and it has also been ranked as one of the world’s top facial recognition algorithms in “Wild Faces” False Non-Match Rate (FNMR) testing by NIST, according to the company.

“We’re strongly encouraged by how delighted schools and their communities are with SAFR for K-12,” said Max Pellegrini, president of RealNetworks. “Our highly accurate platform, which was designed for privacy, is part of a concerted effort to help make schools safer. With today’s release of SAFR on Windows and our best practices overview, we’re expanding the opportunities for schools to apply facial recognition more effectively and responsibly.”

RealNetworks recently launched SAFR in India.

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