A new report suggests that dozens of American colleges and universities are adopting technology that allows administrators to track, monitor, and surveil students. Students from across the political spectrum have joined together to push back against this concerning trend.
According to a report by the College Fix, 40 American colleges and universities have adopted an application called SpotterEDU, a surveillance application that records a student’s location based on a BlueTooth connection to the student’s smartphone.
Breitbart News reported in January that the University of Missouri was amongst the universities that have decided to adopt this technology. Now, new estimates suggest that this service is in use on as many as 40 campuses.
The application, which was developed by a former basketball coach at the University of Missouri, monitors class attendance by tracking a student’s location. “Providing real time information to both coaches and advisors simultaneously allows for cooperation in helping a student succeed,” the application’s website states. “… Impact a student’s future behavior by creating an environment that encourages real-time transparency between students and faculty while also maintaining students’ privacy outside of the classroom.”
The recent uptick in the number of institutions adopting surveillance technologies doesn’t just have the general public concerned. The trend has also caught the attention of Indiana University Professor Kyle M.L. Jones, who studies student privacy.
“These administrators have made a justification for surveilling a student population because it serves their interests, in terms of the scholarships that come out of their budget, the reputation of their programs, the statistics for the school,” Jones said in a short comment to the College Fix.
“What’s to say that the institution doesn’t change their eye of surveillance and start focusing on minority populations, or anyone else?” Jones continued. Students “should have all the rights, responsibilities and privileges that an adult has. So why do we treat them so differently?”
Some universities are responding to concerns about the use of surveillance technology. Breitbart News reported this week that UCLA killed a plan to install facial recognition technology onto existing surveillance cameras on campus after a student advocacy group planned to hold a day of protests.
Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more updates on this trend.