by Michael Kane
I warned everyone about this more than a year ago when I wrote Biometrics Coming to a New York School Near You in August of 2021.
The rollout has now begun, in the info-gathering stages.
Please let me know if I can publish your comment at TeachersforChoice.org, and what info of yours I can publish along with it (Full name, first name only, town you are from, etc…)
It is unclear if NYSED will accept your comment, but that’s irrelevant to me. I am collecting the comments in case they won’t. I suggest your comment revolve around 2 main points:
- There should be absolutely no Biometric technologies allowed in any NY schools.
- No state or federal funding sources should be linked to any Biometric technologies in NY schools.
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) created a notification on October 19th that there would be a virtual public hearing the next day on bringing Biometric technologies into NY schools, but then it appears they didn’t distribute the information until the next day. This gave mere hours for people to prepare to watch the virtual hearing or give comment. In the 5th paragraph of an email forwarded to me by a former NYC Community and Citywide Education Council (CEC) President, NYSED made the following announcement:
NYSED also has partnered with NYS ITS to gather information from stakeholders regarding the use of biometric technology in schools and other educational settings. On Thursday, October 20, NYS ITS will hold a virtual public hearing examining the use of biometric identifying technology in schools. The meeting will be held online at 5:30 PM via Webex. During the hearing, NYS ITS staff will provide a brief overview of the topic, and members of the public are invited to testify for up to three minutes. For more information and additional ways to participate, read the full meeting notice. The survey on the use of biometric identifying technology in education will be open until October 28, 2022.
The virtual public hearing can be viewed at the following link:
One of the above hyperlinks eventually takes you to a BIOMETRICS Survey. The survey defines biometric information as follows:
- Facial geometry/facial characteristics
- Fingerprint/fingerprint characteristics
- Handprint/ hand characteristics
- Retina and iris patterns/eye characteristics
- Voice/vocal characteristics
- ***DNA sequence [my emphasis]
- Any other biometrically distinguishable characteristics
***DNA sequence: Of interest, TEACHERS FOR CHOICE sued NYC over collection of specimens for covid testing and won back in 2020. It was later revealed a company NYC contracted with for covid testing – FULGENT GENETICS – had close ties to the Chinese Government and states on their website they may utilize specimens for DNA harvesting if they choose to. This information first became public from Los Angeles County Police Department Sherriff Alex Villanueva.
I am unsure if any of us should fill out the survey NYSED has provided which is open until October 28. If anyone has any opinion on this please post in the comments or send to me.
Until we get more information, please start by emailing your complete rejection of any Biometric technology in any NY school to the following email address: <ITS.sm.CommunicationsOffice@its.ny.gov>