NYS Department of Education wants facial recognition tech at Lockport CSD delayed

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LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) — The New York State Department of Education is asking the Lockport City School District to delay its use of facial recognition technology.

It was planned that the technology would be in place at the schools in less than a week, but the state wants that time to be delayed.

MORE | Lockport Police to assist school district with new software system

Currently, the department is reviewing the school district’s privacy assessment, trying to make sure that student data will be protected.

As of Thursday, the department had not come to the conclusion that the district had “the necessary framework” in place.

“Regulations are in the process of being finalized that will adopt a standard for data privacy and security for all state educational agencies,” department officials say. “We recommended in past communication that the District consider reviewing the standard and related materials in developing and refining its data security and privacy program. We will remain in contact with school district officials.”

In a statement to News 4 this afternoon Education Counsel at the New York Civil Liberties Union, Stefanie Coyle said: 

“The Lockport School District has barreled ahead with implementing invasive surveillance technology in its schools with little regard for student privacy and civil rights. We are glad to see that NYSED is reining in the district, but it is crystal clear that the state must step in and ensure that inaccurate, biased, and potentially dangerous technology is not imposed on students, teachers, and parents without due consideration of its effects. This technology does not belong in schools.”

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