New York temporarily bans facial recognition in schools


James Martin/CNET

New York suspended the use of facial recognition in schools, as Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday signed a bill that bans biometric tech in schools until July 2022. It directs the state to study whether its use is appropriate in schools, and issue recommendations.

New York is the first state to ban the tech’s use in public and private schools, Forbes noted. The legislation focuses on the tech’s replication of biases based on race and gender.

“Facial recognition technology could provide a host of benefits to New Yorkers, but its use brings up serious and legitimate privacy concerns that we have to examine, especially in schools,” 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.”

In June, the New York Civil Liberties Union sued the state education department over its approval to install facial recognition for the Lockport School District

Cities across the US have banned government use of facial recognition, and Massachusetts became the first state to ban police use of the tech earlier this month.

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