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ACLU chapter wants answers on student-monitoring apps in NYC schools

ACLU chapter wants answers on student-monitoring apps in NYC schools

New York human rights advocates have a lot of questions for New York City’s public schools, and they involve 500,000 iPads that politicians sent to students when the pandemic closed schools.

The New York Civil Liberties Union claims large amounts of critical information about the deal, which involved student-monitoring software, need to be made public.

Indeed, the organization claims that it is possible children were secretly spied on by education app maker GoGuardian whose software was installed on the iPads. Video and audio feeds might be among the biometric data sources tapped, according to the group.

No evidence this or other claims are cited in a post by the NYCLU. The organization instead lists features that GoGuardian and its student-monitoring peers typically offer.

It is demanding, in part through a Freedom of Information Act request, to know more about the deal that bought the systems to kids and what capabilities the vendor has via its software.

The group says not enough is known about how the city’s department of education decided on GoGuardian or how much was spent on its applications.

Closely related to this issue is the growing concern about biometric proctoring software. Skeptics warn that video feeds during test-taking reveal too much personal biometric information on students and can even collect data about a student’s home in the background.

A moratorium has been placed on in-school face biometrics in the state, temporarily settling a battle that had made it to the courts.

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