ACLU raises concerns over school surveillance technologies

A survey conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) revealed that a significant majority (87%) of 14- to 18-year-old students are aware of surveillance technologies being used in their schools.

These technologies include video cameras (62%), monitoring software on school-issued devices (49%), and social media monitoring (27%). However, the survey also highlighted concerns among students regarding school surveillance. About 32% of respondents stated that these security measures make them “always feel like I’m being watched,” and 24% feel that school surveillance limits their access to online resources. The ACLU’s report suggests that while such surveillance technologies are prevalent in schools, they may foster a false sense of security:

“While surveillance technologies may provide a false sense of security to students, there is little empirical evidence that they actually reduce violence or increase school safety,” said the report. “Furthermore, a 2018 survey of over 50,000 students across the state of Maryland found that security cameras inside schools were actually associated with lower feelings of safety and equity.”

This report comes on the heels of New York State banning facial recognition technology for similar concerns.

Read the full report here.

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