October 3, 2023
Contributor: Lauren P. McCluskey, Esq.
State Technology Law Section 106-b, which became effective on December 22, 2020, prohibited the purchase and use of biometric identifying technology by public and non-public schools for any purpose, the only exception being for fingerprint identification of prospective school employees or to identify employees who have consented in writing. Such prohibition was to be in effect until July 1, 2022, or until authorization by the Commissioner of Education, whichever came later.
On September 27, 2023, the Commissioner of Education issued an Order upon consideration of a report by the Office of Information Technology Services. The Commissioner’s Order prohibits the purchase and use of facial recognition technology, unless and until otherwise ordered by the Commissioner, on the basis that the concerns related to facial recognition technology outweigh the potential benefits. Schools who have already purchased facial recognition technology must certify that they will not use it. Additionally, the Order permits schools to determine whether or not to use biometric identifying technology (other than facial recognition). However, such determination must be made after consideration of privacy implications, potential impacts on civil rights, effectiveness of the technology, and parental input.
As always, Honeywell Law Firm is available to answer any questions and provide further information and guidance. Please contact our office at (518) 512-4580 or email@example.com.