Lockport Schools Banned From Using Facial Recognition
The State Education Department said that it is not allowing the Lockport City School District to use or test its facial recognition security system.
Last month, the New York school district which planned to unveil a facial recognition system, intended to stop intruders, had paused the installment due to security and student privacy concerns due to state officials concern about privacy and wanted to test it out before the technology was implemented in September.
"To be clear, the Department has directed the Lockport School District to cease the testing and utilization of facial recognition technology until further notice," spokesman J.P. O'Hare said via email to a news report.
"Department staff has consistently communicated to the District that they should refrain from the use of the facial recognition technology until the Department is satisfied that proper protocols and protections are in place and has not deviated from that position. Any testing or implementation that may be occurring is being done contrary to clear direction from the Department."
The news report says Superintendent Michelle T. Bradley said earlier Thursday that despite Education Department concerns about student privacy that delayed testing planned in late May, the district was planning summer work toward making the $1.4 million system operational: adjusting cameras, training staff on response to alarms and conferring with law enforcement agencies on the system's use.
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 and just recently, Somerville, Mass. also banned it.