School Climate & Safety News in Brief

New York State Halts District’s Plans To Install Facial-Recognition Software

By Alyson Klein — June 04, 2019 1 min read

New York state has put the brakes on a district’s planned trial run of new facial-recognition software aimed at improving school safety, after civil liberties advocates raised alarm bells about the program’s impact on student privacy.

The Lockport City district had been scheduled to go through a planned test of the new system this week. But the state education department wants the district to more carefully evaluate the system to be sure that “student data will be protected with the addition of the new technology.”

If the state hadn’t hit the pause button, the Lockport district would have become one of the first in the country to try out facial-recognition software.

The goal of the software is to enable security officers to quickly respond to the appearance of expelled students, disgruntled employees, sex offenders, or certain weapons the system is programmed to detect, according to the Associated Press.

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A version of this article appeared in the June 05, 2019 edition of Education Week

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