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Lockport schools inch closer to using facial recognition cameras

The State Education Department outlined four more steps it wants the school district to take before its privacy concerns will have been addressed.

LOCKPORT, N.Y. — There's new information about plans for facial recognition cameras at schools in Lockport.

The State Education Department sent a letter to the district, saying that progress is being made in their on-going discussions about privacy concerns related to use of the cameras.

The state's letter outlined four additional steps it would like the school district to take, and once those are complete, all of the state's privacy concerns will have been addressed.

The superintendent told 2 On Your Side through a statement that the additional requests will be reviewed by the board, and the school district looks forward to using the technology to enhance safety for everyone.

"We have to balance protecting those individuals and their privacy with their security and so I think that it's a good thing we're being diligent in that review and making sure that we're doing all the right things," said Michael McCartney, the president of Avalon Cyber.

Holly Hubert, the founder and CEO of GlobalSecurityIQ, is a former FBI agent and a parent. She said the benefits far outweigh the concerns.

Hubert told 2 on Your Side, "The technology can be programmed that once a weapon is detected, to dial 911, make a law enforcement alert, and then you have a response so you know a weapon is in the school. It's incredible."

Hubert also believes a data leak would be highly unlikely.

She said, "It's my understanding that this particular technology is closed and that it has no internet connectivity." 

There is no date set for when the system would potentially be fully implemented in the Lockport City School District. 

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