A New York School District Will Test Facial Recognition On Students Even Though The State Asked It To Wait

Daley Alba

A New York school district will move forward with its facial recognition pilot program next week, despite an explicit order from the New York State Education Department that it must wait until a standard is finalized for data privacy and security for all state educational agencies.

On Friday, the Lockport school district said it was “confident” that the data collection policy for its facial recognition system was sound enough that it could begin testing it on campuses June 3.

“[State Education Department] representatives previously communicated to the District their recommendation that the System not become operational until the dialogue between the District and SED with regard to student data security and privacy is complete,” the statement, sent by the district’s director of technology, Robert LiPuma, to BuzzFeed News, said. “However, the District’s Initial Implementation Phase of the System (which will commence June 3, 2019 and continue through August 31, 2019) will not include any student data being entered into the System database or generated by the System.”