Safe schools group advises on biometrics deployment in latest security guidelines
The 2023 update to the safety and security guidelines of the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) includes technical and procedural recommendations on using biometrics in K-12 schools.
The updated PASS Safety and Security Best Practices Guide offers comprehensive guidance to school districts seeking to improve their safety plans, including using biometric technologies like finger scanning and facial recognition.
The PASS Guide recommends that biometrics be governed by a district-level policy and include requirements such as providing parental opt-out procedures to ensure voluntary participation and destroying all biometric-related information associated with a student or employee upon leaving the school.
The Guide indicates that biometrics can reduce or eliminate the need for using ID cards and keys and remembering PINs and account numbers.
According to PASS, facial recognition technology is increasingly being deployed by school districts in the U.S. The Guide recommends that facial recognition be used only to identify individuals entering school property and that robust policies and procedures be in place to guide staff engagement following a notification.
Biometric data privacy concerns have accompanied the uptick in the technology’s implementation in educational settings.
As such, PASS stresses the importance of transparency in any biometric technology implementation. This includes informing community stakeholders about the purpose and parameters for use, how it unifies with other security components and a thorough use policy.
PASS is a nonprofit organization that provides school boards, administrators, public safety and security professionals with information and tools to help make schools more secure. In 2020, the PASS Advisory Council was formed to incorporate broader stakeholder perspectives into its mission.
PASS was formed in 2014 by the Security Industry Association (SIA), a trade association for electronic and physical security solution providers with over 500 member companies, and the U.S. National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA).
This May 16th-17th, SIA will host its yearly GovSummit: a public policy and government security technology conference.