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New York State halts use of facial recognition systems in schools for two years

Source: Microsoft blog

The New York State legislature on Wednesday passed a bill which places a moratorium on the use of biometric identification technologies, including facial recognition, in schools until July 2022, becoming the first state in the US to halt the use of facial recognition tech in schools. The bill — S5140B — sponsored by senator Brian Kavanagh, also directs the state's commissioner of education to conduct a study on the use of biometric identifying technology. It will now be delivered to the state’s governor Andrew Cuomo to be signed into law. The decision comes a month after, rights group, the New York Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the New York State Education Department for approving facial recognition technology to be used at the Lockport City Schools last year. The lawsuit aims to have the department’s approval of the system vacated and revoked, and have it direct Lockport to deactivate its facial recognition system. "This is especially important as schools across the state begin to acknowledge the experiences of Black and Brown students being policed in schools and funneled into the school-to-prison pipeline. Facial recognition is notoriously inaccurate especially when it comes to identifying women and people of color,” Stefanie Coyle, deputy director of the education policy centre at NYCLU said in a statement, welcoming the move. “For children, whose appearances change rapidly as they grow, biometric technologies' accuracy is even more questionable. False positives, where the wrong student is identified, can result in traumatic interactions with law enforcement, loss of…

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