Biometrics Look Increasingly Likely for Schools Afraid of Gun Attacks

By Jim Nash

When U.S. state of New York schools got the OK last week to use biometric systems short of facial recognition, the move gave more momentum to policies arming teachers with guns.

One of the first reactions came from the Security Industry Association, which criticized the fact that the state’s department of education continued to bar face biometrics collection of any kinds on school grounds.

The board announced that other biometrics systems can be used by schools so long as boards examine how doing so would affect privacy and civil rights, how effective the systems would be and how parents feel about the idea.

SIA members had opposed a three-year temporary complete ban on biometrics investment while campus deployment of facial recognition systems, specifically, could be studied. The ban’s lift largely followed recommendations of that report.

The group largely blames the continuing prohibition on face scans on “intense pressure” from the American Civil Liberties Union, which had filed a lawsuit to prevent a school district from putting AI behind CCTV networks.

It is unlikely that the SIA has said its final words on the matter, and others are creating campaigns favoring biometrics use as a deterrence to gun violence.

A TV station in Seattle owned by conservative broadcaster Sinclair has posted an opinion article making the case that biometrics systems are an affordable option for keeping guns off school grounds. The answer does not lie in gun control, according to the article, but in using technology that makes guns a more accepted aspect of school days.

The article quotes Jake Parker, a board member with the SIA’s Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS), noting “geographic variation” in how schools are responding to the risk of shootings.

The more centrist publisher NewsNation, reporting on gun training for teachers, briefly touches on gun safes locked with biometrics being deployed around Indiana schools.

Source: Biometric Update

Jim Nash is a business journalist. His byline has appeared in The New York Times, Investors Business Daily, Robotics Business Review and other publications. You can find Jim on LinkedIn.

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