(WHAM) - Legislation has been into law suspending any use of facial recognition or biometric technology in schools in New York state for at least 18 months.
The law, which passed by the Assembly and Senate, was signed Tuesday by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Under the law, no schools can purchase facial recognition or biometric technology systems until at least July 1, 2022. This applies to both public and private schools.
Concerns have been raised about possible risks for students, including young people, women, and people of color being misidentified by the software at high rates. The security of the biometric data and student privacy are also at issue.
In the interim, the state's Office of Information Technology and Education Department will study how appropriate the technology is to be used in schools and issue a report with recommendations.
"Facial recognition technology could provide a host of benefits to New Yorkers, but its use brings up serious and legitimate privacy concerns that we have to examine, especially in schools," Cuomo said.
Once the IT and Education Departments complete the report, it will be reviewed by the State Education Commissioner, who will decide whether to authorize the use of technologies in schools.