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NYCLU's court fight over Lockport security system continues

NYCLU's court fight over Lockport security system continues

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Lockport High School

Lockport High School on Lincoln Avenue in Lockport.

Although the Lockport City School District's facial recognition security system has been turned off, a courtroom fight continues in Albany over the legality of the state's approval of the system.

The system was turned on Jan. 2, 2020, but was switched off when Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a law Dec. 22 making facial recognition technology illegal in schools pending a state Education Department study of its pros and cons.

That law makes the lawsuit moot, attorneys for the Education Department and the district argued in a March 12 dismissal motion.

Attorneys for the New York Civil Liberties Union, representing four Lockport parents, responded Thursday, contending that State Supreme Court Justice James H. Ferreira still needs to determine whether the Education Department should have approved the system in the first place.

The NYCLU contends that the facial scans of students the system collected every day constitute "student data" that must be protected from disclosure.

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Changes to Lockport City School District’s facial recognition program are almost good enough to allow the district to use it, the State Education Department said Wednesday. In a letter to district Superintendent Michelle T. Bradley, the department said that if the district makes a few more policy tweaks to  prevent students’ photos from being programmed into the system, the

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