News

Tech Companies Want Schools to Use COVID Relief Money to Spy on Your Children

(VICE) – As vaccination rates rise and schools prepare to reopen, surveillance companies have trained their sights on the billions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief funds being provided to schools across the US, hoping to make a profit by introducing a bevy of new snooping devices.

“$82 BILLION,” reads the huge front-page font on one Motorola Solutions brochure distributed to K-12 schools after the passage of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act. “Consider COVID-19 technology from Motorola Solutions for your Education Stabilization Fund dollars.”

Other vendors are using similar language and marketing tactics that attempt to latch on to the amount of money Congress set aside for K-12 schools, colleges, and universities in the COVID-19 stimulus packages.

School administrators are used to receiving constant sales pitches from ed tech vendors. But many of the pricey products now being offered have previously been reserved for cops, or have been spun up over the last year to be marketed as solutions for reopening schools during the pandemic. Privacy experts fear that, if deployed, many of these technologies will remain in schools long after classrooms return to normal.

Image: Motorola Brochure

Motorola Solutions’ suite of products in its “safe schools solutions” line includes automated license plate readers, watch lists that send automatic alerts when people enter a building, and anonymous “tip” submission apps for students, according to a copy of the brochure shared with Motherboard. The document also advertises artificial intelligence-powered camera systems that purportedly detect “unusual motion,” track individuals using facial recognition as they move around a school, and allow staff to search through hours of video to find footage of a person simply by typing in their “physical descriptors.” Read Full Article >

More in:News

Leave a Comment