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New York Bans Facial Recognition in Schools Statewide


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Using a facial recognition system on a man.

On Wednesday, the New York State Legislature passed a moratorium on the use of facial recognition and other biometric identification methods in schools statewide until at least 2022.

Credit: Thomas Peter/Reuters

The New York State Legislature Wednesday passed a moratorium on the use of facial recognition and other biometric identification methods in schools statewide until 2022, in response to a planned rollout by the Lockport City School District.

Although advocates claim the Aegis system from Canada-based SN Technologies keeps students safe by enforcing watchlists and flagging people as dangerous or otherwise unwanted, critics say it could be used to spy on students, or to compile a database of sensitive facial information that the district might have difficulty securing.

The bill, not yet signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo, would require the New York State Education Department to probe the issue of biometric identification in schools before crafting regulations.

Stefanie Coyle with the New York Civil Liberties Union supports the moratorium, noting that facial recognition is "notoriously inaccurate" in identifying women and people of color.

ACM and the American Civil Liberties Union also are urging moratoriums on biometric identification.

From VentureBeat
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