Jun 212019
 June 21, 2019  Posted by  Surveillance, U.S., Youth & Schools

Mike Maharrey writes:

Today, the New York Assembly passed a bill that would ban facial recognition technology in the state’s schools. The proposed law would not only help protect privacy in New York, but it would also hinder one aspect of the federal surveillance state.

Assm. Monica Wallace (D-Lancaster)  introduced Assembly Bill 6787 (A6787) in March. Sen. Brian Kavanagh (D-NYC) sponsors the Senate companion bill (S5140). The legislation would ban the purchase and use of biometric identifying technology, including facial recognition technology, by New York public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools until July 1, 2022.

The bill would also establish a commission to study whether biometric technology is appropriate for use in New York schools, and if so, what kind of restrictions should be placed on their use.

The Tenth Amendment Center is part of a coalition of more than 40 organizations pushing for passage of this bill. In a statement, the coalition answered the question: what is wrong with biometric surveillance in schools?

Read more on Tenth Amendment Center.

What we also urgently need the NYS legislature to do is pass the student privacy bill that Sheila Kaplan has been promoting and urging for years.  NYS legislators have been utterly negligent in their failure to restrict the sharing of student personal information by continuing the outdated and now-dangerous practice of sharing a lot of personal information by calling it “directory information” under FERPA, where the exact elements that are considered “directory information” are determined by each district.  School districts continue to overshare personal information about students that can put students at risk, and many parents still do not know that they have to opt their children OUT of such sharing and that they must do that opt out form — if the district even tells them about it — within a narrow window of time each year.

In this day and age, parents need to insist that the default for sharing their child’s personal information is “off,”  not “on.”  Why hasn’t the NYS legislature made that the law already? If you claim to care about children, then protect their privacy, Albany!


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