🤓Module 5 -> Lesson 4

Close reading, active listening, rich discussions

Anchor Text(s) for this Lesson

Supporting Text(s)/ Resources for this Lesson

Lesson Overview

In this lesson, students continue their research into issues related to FRT & governance but the focus is shifted from the local to the federal level. Students closely watch and listen to a video that discusses the need for legislation that regulates the use of FRT and makes the claim that the technology is being developed and deployed much faster than laws are being developed to check and balance the power of government agencies and businesses deploying that technology. Students closely read the one-pager describing the bill and revisit Robert Williams' oral history from Module 4 and consider how legislation such as this would relate to an incident like the one Robert William's experienced when he was misidentified and falsely arrested by police.

Nota Bene

Depending on your setting and the length of your class period, you might want to beef up this lesson by adding additional readings or expanding on the written portion of the lesson. If you are working with students who require a high level of support, you might want to use adult-led guided reading groups to unpack and discuss the one-pager.


  • Evaluate current federal legislation regulating biometric technologies.

  • Explain how regulation of FRT might influence the reach and impact of the technology as it used in policing.

  • Take note of common themes in conversations about FRT in policing.

Suggested Duration

45 minutes (adjust according to your students' needs)

NYS Next Generation ELA Standards

  • W1:Write arguments to support claims that analyze substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

  • W1c: Use precise language and content-specific vocabulary to express the appropriate complexity of the topic.

  • RH9: Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.

  • R1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly/ implicitly and make logical inferences; develop questions for deeper understanding and for further exploration.

NYS Computer Science & Digital Fluency Standards

  • 9-12.IC.1 Evaluate the impact of computing technologies on equity, access, and influence in a global society.

  • 9-12.IC.3 Debate issues of ethics related to real world computing technologies.

  • 9-12.IC.5 Describe ways that complex computer systems can be designed for inclusivity and to mitigate unintended consequences.


  • ethical: relating to moral principles and values; conforming to standards of good conduct and behavior.

  • systemic injustice: injustices that are deeply rooted in the system or society, and not just individual actions or beliefs.

  • perpetuate: to cause something to continue indefinitely; to keep something going, especially something that is negative or harmful.

  • oversight: the state of being in charge of someone or something

  • legislation: a law or a set of laws passed by a government body


Read and respond to the prompt.

“The Tualatin Police Department in Washington County, Oregon, signed an agreement with Amazon’s home surveillance equipment company, Ring, in June 2020 to gain special access to the company’s Neighbors app.” (Source)

“Neighbors by Ring, also known as simply Neighbors, is a hyperlocal social networking app owned by Ring LLC, a subsidiary of Amazon.com Inc. The app allows users to anonymously discuss crime and public safety issues within their local community. It integrates with Ring's smart doorbell and surveillance camera products, allowing users to share photos and video clips from the devices' cameras to accompany their posts. The app is also used as part of partnerships between Ring and local law enforcement agencies, who can make verified public service posts on the service, and use an online portal to collect footage posted on Neighbors to assist in investigations.”(Source)


  1. How is Neighbors similar to (and different from) other social media apps you are familiar with?

  2. To what extent should private companies be involved in policing?

  3. What laws, if any, should regulate such partnerships?

  4. What concerns, if any, do you have about the agreement between the Tualatin PD and Amazon?

OPTIONAL: Screen the video Police are using Amazon's facial recognition technology. Privacy experts are worried. to deepen the conversation around the prompts, in particular, number 2.


After discussing the prompts from the hook and watching the video, if you opted to do that, let students know that in today's lesson they will be looking at what is currently underway at the federal level in terms of legislation to regulate the use of FRT in policing.

Play the short video featuring Derek Thompson using the following purpose for viewing: What three categories of FRT does Derek Thompson highlight? Why are these distinctions relevant? Student should be prompted to take notes in their activity guide while they view the video.

Tell students: Consider how transparency and oversight might work to protect the public from the risks that opponents highlight while also allowing law enforcement to productively and safely use the technology to solve crimes. We are going to read and annotate the one-pager describing the Facial Recognition Act of 2022 bill that Ted Lieu put forward to regulate FRT but first let’s quickly review how a bill becomes a law.


Students closely read and annotate one pager outlining The FRT of 2022. Ask students to revisit Robert Williams' oral history from Module 4 and consider how legislation such as this would relate to an incident like the one Robert William's experienced when he was misidentified and falsely arrested by police. If this bill becomes a law, would it help prevent the misuse or abuse of FRT in policing?

Wrap Up

Distribute a quick exit slip:

  • this lesson had me in my (learning/comfort/panic) zone

  • learning about this topic has been (fill in some adjectives)

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