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A New York school district is using facial recognition software to check each student’s face against a database of expelled students, sex offenders and other possible threats. The Doctors invite on security expert Tyler Cohen Wood to find out more about these systems.
Tyler says we are already seeing these systems all over the country. They are used at TSA and in many other countries as well. She explains the database can either contain all the students and people allowed to enter on it or a list of all those who are potential threats and shouldn’t be in the building.
Tyler says it would be great if the system worked exactly how it is supposed to and they could stop a potential suspect. However, there are often issues with the system and it doesn’t always work properly. It is also extremely expensive, anywhere from 1.4 to several million dollars according to Tyler, and there are potential privacy issues.
Psychologist and lawyer Lisa Strohman joins the discussion to give her legal opinion on if you can force kids to participate in this. Lisa shares that facial recognition is already being used on many of us unknowingly through our computer screens. She believes schools will find a way to go around getting a student’s permission.
OB/GYN Dr. Nita Landry shares that according to some reports these systems often don’t work with racial minorities and women. Tyler agrees with the report and adds that a study using facial recognition software was used against members of Congress and 28 members showed up as convicted felons because apparently, they matched mug shots!
This is concerning to Dr. Landry who points out the emotional distress this may cause students if they are falsely accused. ER physician Dr. Travis Stork adds that this really depersonalizes schools.
Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon thinks it hasn’t been perfected but there is a real duty to protect kids and something has to be done. Dr. Landry agrees we need to do something but doesn’t think this is the answer. Dr. Ordon says parents should get involved and see what their school districts are doing. It’s an issue we can’t ignore.