Giving Compass' Take:

• RealNetworks is offering facial recognition technology to K-12 schools as a way to increase security. However, this software could potentially make students feel more uncomfortable and unwelcome. 

• When trying to create safer schools, should technology companies and educators ask for student feedback first? 

• Read about other ideas for school safety.

After tech company RealNetworks started offering K-12 schools facial recognition software for free this summer, a Seattle private elementary school is using the system as a way to increase security, according to The Associated Press.

Facial recognition technology shows up a lot in our daily lives. Facebook memorizes faces to identify people in photos, and even iPhones now unlock using this software. But this equipment is also used for security or tracking individuals.  And in schools, especially when safety seems to be a bigger priority than ever, it lets known faces into the building while keeping unfamiliar ones out.

RealNetworks is planning to expand the product to schools across the country to boost safety, but some are asking if this is the right move?

Bringing in this kind of technology could change the way students feel at school. Rather than a warm, welcoming environment, an automated door blocked by surveillance tech feels more like an institution than a place of learning. It’s also another virtual data folder at risk of being hacked into. And, in many cases, the shooter is a known face in the school community, which this equipment wouldn’t address.

Facial recognition is also largely unregulated, which raises questions and concerns. Technology is developing quicker than anyone — including the government — can keep up with, making it hard to pass restrictions.

Read the full article about facial recognition technology in schools by Jessica Campisi at Education Dive