Biometric age verification proposed for restricted purchases in New York State for third time

Biometric age verification proposed for restricted purchases in New York State for third time

A New York State lawmaker has introduced a bill to allow biometrics to be used to verify the age of people buying controlled substances like tobacco and alcohol, the Post Journal reports.

Assembly Bill 10871, introduced by Assemblywoman Latrice Walker, proposes amending the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Law and Public Health Law to allow biometric fingerprint, iris, of facial recognition to be used instead of photo identification, allowing individuals to have their age confirmed without providing personal information like a name or birthdate.

“Biometric age verification technology is incredibly easy to use and highly accurate,” Walker wrote in the justification for the bill.

Biometric age verification has been proposed twice previously in the legislature, but failed to make it out of committee each time.

The Post-Journal suggests that the bill conflicts with legislation recently passed that places a two-year moratorium on the use of facial recognition in schools, without explanation, even though the new bill describes a process which does not identify individuals and is only used after a request for a restricted product or service. The school ban has not yet been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Two more parents of children in Lockport City School District have joined the New York Civil Liberties Union’s suit aiming to block the implementation of facial biometrics at district schools, according to the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal. The NYCLU argues that student data is being used, which is not allowed, when students are scanned for matching against a watchlist of non-students.

One of the parents joining the suit is newly elected Trustee Renee Cheatham.

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