UK – Study: School Children Monitored ‘As Closely As Inmates’ by CCTV

Children are being monitored as closely as inmates in prisons as schools break the law to introduce scores of covert CCTV cameras, a ground-breaking new study has found. The vast majority of secondary schools use more than 20 CCTV cameras to capture children’s movements in corridors, playgrounds and even the toilets. But many are breaking the law by failing to make it clear to pupils where cameras are located and how the images might be used. At least one unnamed school has installed cameras with microphones in classrooms and corridors and given staff earpieces to listen in on conversations. The spread of CCTV in schools is documented in a study by a researcher based at Salford University. Dr Emmeline Taylor studied surveyed 24 comprehensives in the north west of England and discovered that 23 had installed more than 20 cameras. Out of three studied in-depth, two had gone as far as placing them in the toilets. Dr Taylor also found that schools are increasingly using biometric technology – such as fingerprint, iris or facial recognition systems – for ‘mundane’ reasons such as lending library books. Parents are often in the dark about the biometric data taken from their children or the extent of CCTV. ‘There has been very little attempt to inform the general public, including parents, about the extent that schools are using surveillance devices, including biometric surveillance,’ said Dr Taylor. ‘The level of surveillance that some pupils are subjected to on a daily basis rivals that of international airports and prisons.’ [Daily Mail]

Students weigh in;

We don’t need no CCTV in our classroom

“Our school’s installation of TV cameras to watch our lessons is an insult – a fact many adults failed to grasp when we protested”

Read editorial by  two UK  students


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