SAN FRANCISCO – The University of San Francisco is using facial recognition to manage access to dorm facilities after companies iOmniscient and Cisco partnered with the school to monitor its 10,000 students.

facialrecognitionThe university was looking for a way to control access to residence halls that wasn’t overly intrusive, or required students to do anything, BiometricUpdate.com reports.

“After extensive trials, the University of San Francisco has decided to use iOmniscient’s Face Recognition system inside certain Residence Halls” to “recognize and keep track of residents and non-residents who enter the building,” SourceSecurity.com reports.

The big benefit of the iOmniscient’s facial recognition system is that it can scan and track many visitors at once in high-traffic areas and use Cisco’s video management system to control security cameras that follow those who fail to check in. The university selected the company to implement the technology last year and announced late last month that the system was successfully installed.

“Residence Halls are very high traffic environments which make it difficult for traditional access control technologies to verify every person who is entering,” Jason Rossi, campus security director told Source Security last year.

“By using the facial recognition system we now know who has entered the building, and have improved our ability to identify visitors who need to check in with the attendant,” he said.

USF’s move to facial recognition comes as lawmakers in states across the country are working to limit biometric technology, such as fingerprint, iris or palm scanners, as well as student IDs with embedded radio frequency trackers, Biometric Update reports.

The biometric tracking is currently being used in schools to track student lunch accounts, bus travel, and attendance, the news site reports.

“The laws address increasing concerns among parents and lawmakers about biometric technologies, how they are being used, what student data is being gathered and stored and what security measures are safeguarding the information,” according to Biometric Update.

“In total, 36 states have considered 110 bills this year alone regarding the collection and security of student data, according to Data Quality Campaign, a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy group that calls for the effective use of data in education.

“At least 39 of the 110 bills specifically discussed biometric data … including 14 bills that were successfully passed.”

IdentiMetrics CEO Jay Frey said the technology is currently in more than 1,000 school districts across 40 states.

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