New York School District Stops Plans for Facial Recognition Due to Privacy Concerns
A New York school district which planned to unveil a facial recognition system, intended to stop intruders, has paused the installment due to security and student privacy concerns, according to a news report.
State officials are concerned about privacy and want to test it out before the technology is fully working in September.
In a message posted on the Lockport City School District website, from Michelle T. Bradley, the school's Superintendent, said, "Much to our dismay, school shootings continue to occur in our country. In many cases, these shootings involve students connected to the schools where these horrific incidents occur. Please be assured that the Lockport City School District continues to make school security a priority. In fact, some of the preventative measures taken to date include the hardening of school building entrances, the assignment of armed security guards in several schools, and an increase in the number of staff members who are counselors, social workers, and behavior intervention specialists. In doing so, the Board of Education has also developed and adopted Policy 5685 related to school security and privacy matters."
Beginning May 28, 2019, the Lockport City School District will "move forward with the initial implementation phase of the Aegis facial recognition system", Bradley said. "The general purpose of the initial implementation phase is to refine the operation of the system including making necessary adjustments to cameras throughout all school buildings, training staff members assigned to the district wide camera room located at Lockport High School, and engaging in dialogue with local law enforcement agencies. The system will be fully implemented on September 1, 2019," Bradley continued.
While it is rare that facial recognition is implemented at schools, the technology is becoming popular at airports, stadiums and many other sites. However, after San Francisco became the first city to ban the use of facial recognition for police use, many others might follow with similar limitations.