Two more parents have joined the NYCLU’s lawsuit against the New York State Education Department and the Lockport City School District. The plaintiffs are hoping to prevent the Lockport School District from using an AEGIS facial recognition system in its facilities.
As the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal reports, the new parties are Steven Allore and Teria Young, who join Jim Shultz and Renee Cheatham. Cheatham was recently elected as a school Trustee, while Allore and Young both ran for the school board in a June election.
“Teria Young and Steven Allore are parents and members of the Lockport community and understand well the stakes and risks of allowing a racially-biased, flawed system like AEGIS to remain in schools,” said NYCLU Senior Staff Attorney Beth Haroules.
The Lockport City School District moved forward with its plans to deploy the AEGIS system in January, revealing that the surveillance network would consist of 300 cameras spread across 10 schools and the District office. Administrators argue that the system will only be used to watch for sex offenders and other adults on official watch lists, and claim that the system does not store the biometric information of any students. The NYCLU counters that students are still being recorded, and that the system unlawfully infringes on their privacy and civil liberties.
The New York State legislature recently passed a bill that would ban the use of biometric identification in schools until 2022. However, Governor Andrew Cuomo has not yet signed the bill into law, which means that the Lockport system is still active for the time being.
“Our immediate concern is to make sure students in Lockport aren’t exposed to this kind of surveillance for even a day longer,” said Haroules, adding, “we want to be sure no other schools that are baited into the false promise of flawed facial recognition technology have the green light from NYSED to move forward.”
Source: Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
July 31, 2020 – by Eric Weiss