As part of a campaign against face surveillance in schools, Massachusetts students this week plan to urge state lawmakers to pass bills regulating when government agencies can use the technology.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, Encode Justice and the Student Immigrant Movement on Monday launched a week of action they said aims to “highlight the dangers posed by the use of face surveillance technology in schools.”
Participants are making videos, joining webinars and phone banks, emailing elected officials and otherwise advocating for a statewide ban on face surveillance in schools and for passage of an ACLU-backed bill to regulate the technology’s use.
According to the ACLU, the bill, filed by Sen. Cynthia Creem and Reps. Dave Rogers and Orlando Ramos, would establish due process protections, prohibit governments’ use of face surveillance to track or monitor people in places such as schools, parks and municipal buildings, and require police to get a warrant before conducting a face-recognition search in non-emergency situations.
Ducks born in Massachusetts school’s courtyard waddle through corridors
An adorable annual ritual at a middle school in Reading, Massachusetts, was observed recently, as a mother duck and the flock of ducklings she hatched in the courtyard were guided out of the building. Credit: Ann Jacobsmeier via Storyful
“Students shouldn’t have to worry that their every move is being monitored or that their photos could end up in a police or immigration database simply because they came to class,” said Kade Crockford, director of the ACLU’s Technology for Liberty program. “Massachusetts lawmakers must protect students, teachers and families from this invasive, biased technology.”
A 2020 policing reform law put some regulations on facial recognition searches by law enforcement, and created a commission that is scheduled to make further recommendations by the end of 2021.