NY school turns heads with facial recognition

Tuesday, January 14, 2020
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

Camera in school classroomA public school district is implementing facial recognition technology, the first in the country to do so, and also creating a mountain of controversy.

Education blog EdWeek.com reports Lockport School District, located in New York state, will use the technology to scan for prohibited people, such as registered sex offenders and terminated school staff, on its eight campuses.

After the school district’s plan caught the attention of the New York State Education Department, Lockport officials promised parents and the state agency that no student data will be collected and stored.  

Whitehead, John (Rutherford Institute)John Whitehead, a civil liberties attorney who leads The Rutherford Institute, says one problem is the technology is highly inaccurate.

“In fact,” he tells OneNewsNow, “some cities where people have been arrested for crimes, in over 50 to 60 percent of the cases, they're not guilty of anything."

A trial run of facial recognition technology by London police found a whopping 80-percent failure rate, and it was recommended to end the program immediately, Forbes reported last summer.  

Whitehead also says he is reluctant to believe the school leaders when they promise no data will be created or stored, so he says parents should be in an “uproar” and attempt to place limits on the data collection.

“And here's the other thing: As a parent, you should know anything the school knows about your child. It should be reported to you directly,” he says.

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