New York state may ban the use of facial recognition in schools


The emerging technology has been referred to as “new and untested” by lawmakers, putting pressure on the Department of Education to conduct a study.

New York state would effectively place a one-year moratorium on using facial recognition technology at schools to allow for more research to be conducted on the issue.

The bill had been referred to the state Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee following a vote. A spokesperson for Assembly Member Monica Wallace, D Lancaster stressed how questions arise on the technology’s reliability. In a prepared statement Wallace wrote:

“There are real questions about who will have access to sensitive student biometric data and how that data may be used.”

Wallace believes that the state Department of Education should study the issue of facial recognition technology being used in schools by accessing the reliability, cost, and privacy risks associated with its use.

“My legislation doesn’t seek to prohibit use, it simply asks that we take a closer look before moving forward and implement guidelines to ensure student privacy will be protected,” Wallace added.

A spokesperson for Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s office explained that facial recognition needs to be studied “to avoid issues of bias and serious concerns regarding data storage”.

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