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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Fresh off a campaign to ban facial recognition software from being used at concerts, Fight for the Future is trying to rally students to persuade their schools to take a similarly strong stand against broad use of the powerful technology.

Why it matters: In the absence of legislation limiting its use, activists want to prevent facial recognition from becoming commonplace in public spaces.

"While facial recognition is not yet widespread on college campuses, the companies that make it are aggressively marketing it to schools. ... Now is the moment to draw a line in the sand and prevent this dangerous technology from creeping further and further into our daily lives."
Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, tells Axios

What's new: Fight for the Future is partnering with Students for Sensible Drug Policy for its campaign. The goal, Greer says, is to get as many colleges and universities as possible to commit to not use facial recognition technology on campus.

What they're saying: Abhi Duwan, a junior at George Washington University where he's president of its SSDP chapter, pointed to well-documented issues of racial and other bias as well as other dangers.

"Many groups or even the government could force the administration to share our biometric data, putting students at risk. ... If students and professors are under 24/7 surveillance, this could significantly detriment diversity of academic thought and discourse."
Abhi Duwan

The big picture: Fight for the Future has been trying to stop the creep of facial recognition in a wide range of areas. Its effort targeting concert promoters got 40 of the world's largest music festivals, including Coachella, SXSW and Bonnaroo, to state they don't have plans to use such technology.

  • Ideally, that "will help build momentum for what we really need, which is an outright federal ban on all use of facial recognition for surveillance purposes," Greer adds.

The other side: Proponents of the technology say it can help keep people safe, provided issues of privacy and bias can be addressed.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Prosecutors charge parents of Michigan school shooting suspect

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school have been charged with involuntary manslaughter, according to court documents.

State of play: James and Jennifer Crumbley were each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter.

48 mins ago - World

Putin to demand legal guarantee against NATO expansion in call with Biden

Biden and Putin meeting in Geneva in June. Photo: Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin is demanding a legally binding guarantee that NATO will not expand east — including to Ukraine — and plans to raise the issue in an upcoming phone call with President Biden, according to the Kremlin.

Why it matters: Russia has massed more than 94,000 troops on the border with Ukraine and could be preparing for a large-scale invasion at the end of January, Ukraine's defense minister said Friday.