Demand Progress

Tell Congress: Ban facial recognition in schools!

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    Tell Congress: Ban facial recognition in schools!

    Petition to Congress:
    Facial recognition technology is deeply flawed, invasive and inaccurate for people with darker skin tones. This technology has no place in America’s schools. We demand you pass legislation to ban facial recognition technology in public schools.

    If you have kids in high school, they’ve probably read Orwell’s 1984. But now, they’ll get the chance to live in a real-world tech dystopia.

    Tech startups are quietly selling facial recognition services to high schools across the country.1 And the potential danger for students, especially students of color, is too troubling to just sit idly by.

    Sign the petition: Tell Congress to ban the use of facial recognition technology in schools!

    It’s common knowledge by now that facial recognition technology is not accurate for people with darker skin tones.2 This design flaw leads to false positives that, for young students of color, could mean the difference between a safe learning environment or the school-to-prison pipeline.

    But that’s not all. Tech companies selling facial recognition services have been tight-lipped about just how long they store facial data, whether they sell that data to third parties or share it with government agencies like ICE, or how secure their systems are from hacking attempts.3

    Facial recognition in schools also gives administrators the unprecedented ability to track and monitor students in real time, during some of the most formative years of their lives. What’s worse: as minors, students may not have any legal recourse to protect themselves from the racial flaws within facial recognition systems.

    For so many students, high school is already a rough, awkward time. Imagine how much worse that experience will be when students are scanned, tracked, and recorded without their consent, and with technology that can’t tell dark skinned students apart from each other.

    Tell Congress: Ban the use of facial recognition technology in schools!


    1. Human Rights Watch, “Facial Recognition Technology in US Schools Threatens Rights,” June 21, 2019.
    2. Wall Street Journal, “Facial-Recognition Software Suffers From Racial Bias, U.S. Study Finds,” December 19, 2019.
    3. Salon, “Facial recognition data collected by U.S. customs agency stolen by hackers,” June 11, 2019.