Saturday, October 22, 2022

Testimony about how NY school districts are openly violating the moratorium of the use of biometric technology in schools

Last week, I testified on behalf the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy before the New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) about the use of biometric surveillance technology in schools, for a report that will be submitted to the NYSED commissioner, as well as the legislature and governor.  I focused on how districts throughout the state, including in NYC, are not complying with the state moratorium on the use of facial recognition in schools that was passed by the New York Legislature in 2020, and are sharing this highly sensitive data with third parties that also violate the state student privacy law, Education Law S2d. .  

Here is a good article about these hearings .  Other groups who provided testimony included NYCLU, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the the Security Industry Association. Perhaps the most disturbing testimony was given by Jim Shultz, a parent at the Lockport School District, whose short-lived use of biometric student surveillance triggered this moratorium and revealed huge inconsistencies and errors.  A recording of these hearings is posted here.

People who are concerned about the use of this technology can submit comments through Oct. 28 here.  My comments are below.

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