School facial recognition gets pushback from state

facial recognition technology
facial recognition technology
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School facial recognition gets pushback from state

The New York State Education Department released a statement calling on the school district to delay its usage.
May 31, 2019

Not long after New York’s Lockport City School District announced plans to begin testing its facial recognition system on students and faculty next week, the New York State Education Department released a statement calling on the school district to delay its implementation on students. “The Department is currently reviewing the Lockport CSD’s privacy assessment to ensure that student data will be protected with the addition of the new technology,” the statement read. “The Department has not come to the conclusion that the District has demonstrated the necessary framework is in place to protect the privacy of data subjects and properly secure the data.”

Should the pilot proceed, Lockport City would be the first district in the U.S. to implement facial recognition security measures in its schools, even as questions continue about the technology’s effectiveness and accuracy, and as San Francisco banned its use by city agencies.

Lockport City School District planned to begin its pilot next week, with the intention of going fully operational by this September; the district purchased and installed the $1.4 million system last year. Since then, the New York Civil Liberties Union has called on the state to block its usage, and Assemblywoman Monica Wallace introduced legislation in March that would do just that.

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Annie McDonough
Annie McDonough
is a tech and policy reporter at City & State.
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