Bill S3119A-2013

Requires the commissioner of education to require all schools to obtain permission from parents prior to collecting a pupil's biometric information

Requires the commissioner of education to require all schools to obtain permission from parents to collect a pupil's biometric information at least thirty days prior to collecting such information.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 31, 2014: PRINT NUMBER 3119A
  • Jan 31, 2014: AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO EDUCATION
  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO EDUCATION
  • Jan 30, 2013: REFERRED TO EDUCATION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3119A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to requiring the commissioner of education to cause all schools to obtain written permission prior to collecting biometric information on pupils

PURPOSE:

The purpose of the legislation is to ensure the biometric information of students is not collected by schools without the prior written consent of their parents or guardians.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section one amends section 305 of the education law by adding a new subdivision 44, which provides the commissioner of education shall require all school districts and charter schools to obtain written consent from parents or guardians of pupils before collecting biometric infoiination (i.e., intrinsic physical and/or behavioral information used for uniquely identifying individuals).

This act shall take effect July 1st succeeding the date it becomes law.

JUSTIFICATION:

Biometrics describes the method of collecting biological and behavioral characteristics that can be used for the recognition of an individual by measuring anatomical and physiological characteristics. Common types of biometrics include: "fingerprint, face, voice, signature, and hand geometry." (See,HTTP://WWW.BIOMETRICS.GOV/ DOCUMENTS/FAQ.PDF)(last visited 1/30/13)

Biometric systems work by acquiring the biological information necessary for identification, and then saving as a "template" in a database. The systems then verify individuals' identity by comparing their biometric data to the previously saved templates "enrolled" in the biometric system. (See,HTTP://WWW. BIOMETRICS.GOV/DOCUMNTS/FAQ.PDF)(last visited 1/30/13).

While choosing the implementation of a biometric method, different factors must be taken into account; location of the scanning devices and of the database, the level of security risk inherent in the location of the database, the circumstance for which the data is to be captured and used, and the level and type(s) of security precautions taken to safeguard the stored data.

One well-known example of an entity that uses biometric identification data is the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FBI, along with some other federal and law enforcement entities, use the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAPIS). This system allows for the electronic exchange of fingerprints, along with automated fingerprints search capabilities. latent search capabilities and the storage of electronic images. (See, http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cjisd/iafis.htm)(last visited 1/30/13).

Biometric technology is also used in ensuring the security of our ports and vessels. A new program implemented by the Maritime Transportation Security Act set up the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), a biometric information card that has an individual's picture and biometric information. This ensures that only those with clearance enter secure areas, allowing employees access without escort.

The TWIC system was first implemented in Port Wilmington ,Delaware but has expanded to Alaska, California, Louisiana, Michigan, and New York. (See,http://twicinformation.tsa.dhs.gov/twicinfo/schedule. jsp?d-16544-p=7&d-16544s=2&d-16544-o=2)(last visited 1-30-13).

Recently, schools have implemented biometric devices to "improve data security, student safety, and to speed up school processes." (See. http://www.edtechrnag.com/k12/issues/june-july-2006/biometric-goesto-school.html.) Ontario Montclair School District, in California, has even used biometric fingerprint technology to ensure children get off the school bus at the right stop.

Despite the potential for the use of biometric data to improve the security of schools and to improve school processes, it is also extremely important to balance such concerns against questions of personal privacy, and the potential for inadvertent disclosure, or malicious theft and misuse, of personally identifiable information about children.

In 2008, Arizona enacted a similar law, providing that biometric information could only be collected after written consent was received by the school from a parent or guardian. (see, HTTP://SSL.CSG.ORG/DOCKETS/2010CYCLE/COMPLETE2010VOLUME/ STUDENTBIOMETRICINFOSS/2010SSL.PDF)(last visited 12/17/10).

Although at a statewide level, New York has not established a practice of collecting and using such data to improve security, it is important to put safeguards in place to protect our children before any harms are committed, rather than after the fact. This legislation will provide parents and their children with the assurance that biometric data will not be collected without consent, which is an important first step in regulating this practice at an early stage.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2011-12: S.1144 - Referred to Education 2009-10: S.6824 - Referred to Education

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the first of July next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3119--A 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 30, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Education -- recommitted to the Committee on Education in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to requiring the commis- sioner of education to cause all schools to obtain written permission prior to collecting biometric information on pupils THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 305 of the education law is amended by adding a new subdivision 44 to read as follows: 44. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL CAUSE ALL SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND CHARTER SCHOOLS TO OBTAIN WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM THE PARENTS OR GUARDIANS OF PUPILS IT INTENDS TO COLLECT BIOMETRIC INFORMATION ON PRIOR TO COLLECT- ING SUCH INFORMATION. SUCH SCHOOLS SHALL PROVIDE WRITTEN NOTICE TO THE PARENTS OR GUARDIANS OF PUPILS IT INTENDS TO COLLECT BIOMETRIC INFORMA- TION ON AT LEAST THIRTY DAYS PRIOR TO COLLECTION. THE WRITTEN NOTICE SHALL CONTAIN A STATEMENT INFORMING THE PARENT OR GUARDIAN THAT THEY MUST GIVE WRITTEN PERMISSION BEFORE A SCHOOL CAN COLLECT BIOMETRIC INFORMATION FROM THE PUPIL. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PROMULGATE REGU- LATIONS NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT THIS SUBDIVISION. S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of July next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.

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