New York City, NY — New York banned the use of facial recognition technology in elementary and high schools last month due to a report highlighting the risks to student privacy and civil rights.
The state report, released by New York State Office of Information Technology Services, states the risks “may outweigh the benefits” for schools since there is little evidence that it prevents violent incidents on campuses.
“Schools should be safe places to learn and grow, not spaces where they are constantly scanned and monitored, with their most sensitive information at risk," Stefanie Coyle, deputy director of the NYCLU's Education Policy Center, said in a statement according to Time Magazine.
The decision made by Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa comes after two parents filed a court challenge in 2020 to the adoption of facial recognition technology by an upstate district.
Jim Schultz, a parent of a daughter who attended Lockport High School in 2020, immediately did not approve when the school announced the use of facial recognition technology as a security measure.
“We want our kids to be safe in school. We need to do that in a way that’s smart, not stupid, and this was stupid from the beginning,” Schultz told Buffalo News.
Kailyn Rhone, (she/her) is from Florida, but is an NYC-based journalist covering education, technology and culture. Follow her on Twitter @onlykailyn.
Edited by Nykeya Woods.