Despite schools being the safest they’ve been in over 30 years, more and more schools have turned to surveillance--facial recognition cameras, apps that track movements, and software that monitors email and social media accounts--in the name of safety. And the tug of war between student privacy and surveillance wages on while tech companies make a lot of money off this new industry.
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What kind of student surveillance is going on?
In the United States, federally-funded schools are required to have a plan for monitoring students’ internet lives. Some install monitoring tools on all school-issued equipment, like computers and tablets. Some just block inappropriate content. Others have gone much further, using monitoring tools that scan social media posts, emails, and Internet searches.
What is the argument FOR student surveillance?
This part is simple. It’s to keep kids safe from bullying, self-harm, and deadly violence, like shooters. And a bunch of tech surveillance companies--Gaggle, Bark, Securly, Social Sentinel, to name a few--are making a lot of money off of this new industry. One that’s getting all the more lucrative as most classes move online.