New York State Suspends Facial Recognition Tech in Schools

Dec 26, 2020 by

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) recently signed legislation that will pause the use of facial recognition technology at K-12 schools in the state for two years.

The Hill reports that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation this week that will pause the use of facial recognition technology at K-12 schools in the state for two years.

The pause was approved by the state legislature this summer and follows an attempt by a school district in upstate New York to implement the invasive technology in its schools.

Lockport City School District reported installed cameras in 2019 but turned them off following mass pushback from local citizens and civil rights groups. As part of the agreement to sign the bill, the New York state legislature will pass a bill next session to study facial recognition technologies and the privacy concerns related to them.

Cuomo said in a statement: “This legislation requires state education policymakers to take a step back, consult with experts and address privacy issues before determining whether any kind of biometric identifying technology can be brought into New York’s schools. The safety and security of our children is vital to every parent, and whether to use this technology is not a decision to be made lightly.”

One of the primary issues many have with the technology is the system’s alleged replication of biases based on race and gender. In a study released last year, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a federal agency within the Commerce Department, stated that it found that the majority of facial recognition systems have “demographic differentials” that can negatively affect their accuracy based on a person’s age, gender, or race.

Source: New York State Suspends Facial Recognition Tech in Schools

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