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  • Writer's pictureShea Swauger

Petition to Ban Facial Recognition and Algorithmic Proctoring

Updated: Feb 12, 2021

To: The CU Faculty Council Executive Committee

We’re writing to request the University of Colorado System ban the use of facial recognition and detection technologies (referred to hereafter as FRT) by any CU institution, in all educational settings, online and in-person. 

FRT are invasive, biased, and violate the privacy of students, faculty, and staff. They exacerbate discrimination and put our safety at risk. Several studies have shown that FRT inconsistently identifies Black people, trans people, and misidentifies non-binary people 100% of the time. FRT systems often share data with law enforcement agencies that have used FRT to target undocumented immigrants, surveil protesters, and communities of color. FRT systems can sell or share biometric data with for-profit companies and federal agencies without the consent of the people being whose faces are scanned. 

Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Access is one of the four pillars of the University of Colorado System’s Strategic Plan. Banning FRT is a definitive and measurable outcome that supports this pillar and sends a strong message to our community that we care about equity. We ask that administrators work together with our coalition, as well as with IT leadership, to keep FRT off campuses, except for personal use (like unlocking a phone) or for ethically conducted research.


CU Anschutz Medical Campus Student Senate

UCCS Student Government Association

United Campus Workers Colorado

CLAS Counsel on Diversity and Inclusion, CU Denver

Ethnic Diversity Committee, CU Denver

Office of Diversity and Inclusion, CU Denver | Anschutz

Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, CU Denver

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Council, CU Denver

Digital Pedagogy Lab, CU Denver

Women & Gender Center, CU Denver

Boulder Faculty Assembly Diversity Committee, CU Boulder

Faculty Minority Affairs Committee, UCCS

Faculty Assembly Women's Committee, UCCS

LGBTQ+ Faculty Committee, CU Denver

Auraria Library Faculty, CU Denver

Libraries Faculty, CU Boulder

Philosophy Department, CU Denver

Economics Department, CU Denver

History Department, CU Denver

Sociology Department, CU Denver

CCTSI Community Engagement Core, CU Denver | Anschutz

Antiracist Advocacy and Action Committee, CU Denver | Anschutz

Media Archaeology Lab, CU Boulder

Shea Swauger, Senior Instructor, Auraria Library, CU Denver

Charlene Ortiz, Colorado School of Public Health, Dept. of Community & Behavioral Health

Amanda Beyer-Purvis, Office of Inclusive Excellence in STEM, CU Denver | Anschutz

David Mays, Professor, Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, Design Computing, CU Denver

Matthias L. Richter, Associate Professor, Asian Languages and Civilizations, CU Boulder

Jacquie Richardson, Department of Chemistry, CU Boulder

Wendy J Rauf, Community College of Denver

libi rose striegl, Manager, Media Archaeology Lab, CU Boulder

Lori Emerson, Associate Professor of English, Director of Intermedia Arts, Writing, and Performance, CU Boulder

Miles Huskey, MSUD alum, former CU Denver employee

Jenn Greiving, Instructor, University of Colorado Denver

Laurel Sindewald, PhD Candidate, Integrative and Systems Biology, CU Denver

Salim Lakhani, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering, CU Denver

Carly Setterberg, MD Candidate, University of Colorado School of Medicine

Gordon Matthewson, MD Candidate, University of Colorado School of Medicine

Current CU technologies that use either facial detection or facial recognition:

  • Automated Proctoring Software such as Proctorio, Respondus, ProctorU, Examity, etc.


Resources about FRT and equity:

  • Boston University

  • Brown University

  • California Institute of Technology

  • Carnegie Mellon University

  • Colorado State University

  • Cornell University

  • Emory University

  • Georgetown University

  • Harvard University

  • Howard University

  • James Madison University

  • Johns Hopkins University

  • Kalamazoo College

  • Kent State University

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Michigan State University

  • New College

  • New York University

  • North Western University

  • Oregon State University

  • Portland State University

  • Rice University

  • Sarah Lawrence College

  • Stanford University

  • Tufts University

  • Tulane University

  • University of California Berkeley

  • University of California Davis

  • University of California Irvine

  • University of California San Diego

  • University of California Santa Barbara

  • University of California Santa Cruz

  • University of California Los Angeles

  • University of Chicago 

  • University of Florida

  • University of Maryland

  • University of Michigan

  • University of Minnesota

  • University of Missouri

  • University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

  • University of Pennsylvania

  • University of Rochester

  • University of San Fransisco

  • University of Utah

  • University of Virginia

  • University of Washington

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • Vanderbilt University

  • Wake Forrest University

  • Washington University

  • Western Washington University

  • Yale University

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