Lockport City School District facial recognition opacity
Occurred: April 2022
An Office of the New York State Comptroller audit (pdf) has found that the procurement process for the implementation of a facial recognition system for Lockport City School District was not transparent, violated district rules and policy, and failed to comply with New York State General Municipal Law.
The audit was the result of allegations levelled by local resident Jim Schultz that SN Technologies’ AEGIS system was biased and the bidding process corrupt. The allegations prompted then-New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to order the suspension and inspection of the system by local authorities in March 2021.
The audit found the district only allowed one day for bids to be submitted and ruled the procurement process was not as transparent as it should have been. SN Technologies was the only respondent.
Lockport City School District claims Aegis provides early warning signs of threats to students and employees at its schools.The system is also meant to identify guns and alert security to their presence.
Operator: Lockport City School District
Developer: SN Technologies
Sector: Govt - education
Purpose: Strengthen security
Technology: Facial recognition; Gun detection
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Effectiveness/value; Bias/discrimination - race, ethnicity; Privacy; Surveillance
Transparency: Governance; Marketing