The Debate Over School Bathroom Cameras
Rising concerns about vaping and bullying, has caused schools wanting to install surveillance cameras in bathrooms. However, Privacy Commissioner Michael Webster has issued a warning, urging schools to proceed with caution, considering the sensitive nature of privacy in these spaces. “Bathrooms are highly sensitive zones for privacy and there’s some clear points that schools need to consider first.”
Michael emphasises the need for transparency. Schools considering bathroom surveillance must be open with their community about what information they intend to collect and why. The placement and focus of cameras should not infringe upon students’ privacy.
Webster recommends conducting a privacy impact assessment before installing bathroom cameras. He reminds everyone that privacy rights apply to all, regardless of age. Striking the right balance between security and privacy is the challenge schools must tackle as they seek to create safe learning environments.
“Remember that everyone, regardless of their age, has privacy rights,” he said.
Webster also stresses responsible data management. Schools should only record what’s necessary, restrict access to recorded data, and establish clear guidelines for data retention and deletion.
Recent reports reveal that over 10 percent of students have experienced physical harm from bullies, and vaping among students is on the rise. Schools are feeling the pressure to create a safe environment for their students.
Rangiora High School in Christchurch has made headlines by installing cameras and sensors in toilet corridors to combat these issues, showcasing the seriousness of the problem. What are your thoughts on cameras and sensors in school bathrooms?
Information sourced from Stuff.co.nz