The law enacting the ban came after the Lockport City School District was criticized for using facial recognition in all of its K-12 institutions. It aimed to quickly spot sex offenders, unauthorized personnel, or other possible threats, but opponents saw it as an attack on privacy and freedom that used children as test subjects. It could be used to punish children for minor offenses, for example.
It’s relatively easy for New York to suspend use during a pandemic, when students frequently have to wear masks or learn at home. Nonetheless, it could set a precedent that would lead other states to ban or limit facial recognition in schools, even when it is safe to resume normal classes.