Legislation to suspend facial recognition in schools passes state Assembly

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Assemblymember Monica Wallace announced this afternoon legislation to imposes a temporary suspension on the use and purchase of facial recognition technology in New York schools has passed the state Assembly. 

The legislation also directs the state Department of Education to look deeper into the costs, benefits, and risks associated with facial recognition before further investing. 

 “There are real questions about its reliability and about a school’s ability to protect sensitive student biometric data. Before rushing forward with implementation, I believe it’s prudent to have the state Department of Education study the issue and propose regulations. This bill simply asks that we take a closer look at this technology before moving forward,” Wallace said.  

She cites at least one Western New York school district has spent over $1 million to purchase, what she calls, yet-untested software and other schools have announced plans to do the same. 

 “This legislation simply asks that we pause to take a more thoughtful approach when dealing with this new technology, so as to ensure the safety of students and their data,” Wallace added. 

She concluded saying she wants to ensure that limited taxpayer resources are being spent on the best system to make sure schools are safe. 

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