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New York bans facial recognition tech at schools

Public and private schools in New York state cannot use facial recognition systems at their premises for at least a year and a half, as governor Andrew Cuomo signed a legislation banning their use. The legislation places a moratorium on schools purchasing and using biometric identifying technology until at least July 1, 2022, or until the completion of a study documenting whether the tech’s use is appropriate in schools. The study will address specific considerations outlined in the legislation, including the technology's potential impact on student civil liberties and privacy and how the data collected would be used, as per a press release. The state Office of Information Technology will work with the State Education Department and will seek feedback from teachers and parents, as well as experts in school safety, security, data and student privacy issues for the study. The legislation — S5140B — was sponsored by senator Brian Kavanagh, and was approved by the New York State legislature in July. A month before that, rights group, the New York Civil Liberties Union had 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 aimed to have the department’s approval of the system vacated and revoked, and have it direct Lockport to deactivate its facial recognition system. “Facial recognition is biased and broken, and it has no place in the classroom. If used in schools, facial recognition will become yet another part…

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