Fayette County schools disable sensor cameras

Credit: Courtesy Hikvision

Credit: Courtesy Hikvision

Fayette County schools have disabled thermal cameras installed last year to help identify students who might have fever symptoms related to COVID-19. A group of parents who attended the July 26 Board of Education meeting raised questions about the security of the data the cameras collect, given that they were made by a Hikvision, a Chinese company recently identified as a possible national security risk.

The cameras were purchased for each school a year ago for $525,000, using mostly ESPLOST funds, and were integrated with the county’s existing electronics system. However, the Federal Communications Commission in June announced plans to ban sales of products made by Hikvision and several other Chinese companies because of security concerns that are still being investigated. For now, the Fayette school administration says students who exhibit signs of illness will be sent to the school nurse for evaluation.