Jul 24, 2018

Between the lines: Facial recognition debate coming to schools nationwide

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facial recognition could be coming to a high school near you, with a western New York school district set to become the first in the nation to match its technology to databases of suspected threats, the AP's Carolyn Thompson reports.

Why it matters: This is another example of a school taking a safety measure that sacrifices student privacy as the gun safety debate rages nationwide.

Between the lines: Think of the fights over closed-circuit surveillance cameras, school resource officers, and metal detectors. Any change, even for safety, is going to come with major controversy — along with uneven application for schools with more poor and minority students.

  • Flashback: Marjory Stoneman Douglas student and activist David Hogg told Axios in March that school "is a prison now" because of increased security measures for students.

What they're saying: Advocates for the tech say its system — matching a face to people banned from the premises — would have helped identify shooters like Nikolas Cruz as soon as they entered school grounds.

  • The other side: "Jennifer Lynch, senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group, said any school considering facial recognition must consider who will have access to data, how such a system would be managed and whether students can opt out."

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The race to catch Nike's Vaporfly shoe before the 2020 Olympics

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Four months ago, on the very same weekend, Eliud Kipchoge became the first human to run a marathon in under two hours, and fellow Kenyan Brigid Kosgei shattered the women's marathon record.

Why it matters: Kipchoge and Kosgei were both wearing Nike's controversial Vaporfly sneakers, which many believed would be banned because of the performance boost provided by a carbon-fiber plate in the midsole that acted as a spring and saved the runner energy.

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Reassessing the global impact of the coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Economists are rethinking projections about the broader economic consequences of the coronavirus outbreak after a surge of diagnoses and deaths outside Asia and an announcement from a top CDC official that Americans should be prepared for the virus to spread here.

What's happening: The coronavirus quickly went from an also-ran concern to the most talked-about issue at the National Association for Business Economics policy conference in Washington, D.C.

Tech can't remember what to do in a down market

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Wall Street's two-day-old coronavirus crash is a wakeup alarm for Silicon Valley.

The big picture: Tech has been booming for so long the industry barely remembers what a down market feels like — and most companies are ill-prepared for one.