Is Pre-School Classroom a Privacy Issue?

La Repubblica recently was examining the topic of placing webcams in pre-school classrooms so that parents can check in on their kids. One Antonello Soro, president of a data privacy group, is against these, because they violate the privacy of the children and the liberty of the teachers.


Look, I don't know if these cameras are good ideas or not. But what sort of "privacy" do four-year-olds have a right to expect in a pre-K classroom? The webcams aren't being put in the toilet, after all. More disturbingly, what do the teachers want the liberty to be doing that they can't do if there is a webcam around?

Consider this: when I coached youth swimming my practices were always open for parents to watch. Had I somehow lost some of my liberty because of this? Sure, parents might sometimes try to interfere with my coaching methods. I would just tell them, "If you want me as your coach, you have to let me coach my way. If you want a different coach, you are free to lobby for one."

2 comments:

  1. Having a camera in the room can feel uncannily like being stared at continually. The very fact that the footage is there, and might be examined in any number of situations, with any number of intentions, can make someone feel uneasy.

    Of course, that's just one factor on the cost side. The benefits may outweigh the costs.

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  2. I'd be more worried that it would desensitize the children to having cameras constantly looking at them, such that when they get older and become part of the political process, that they will say something stupid like, "what's the problem with having cameras in your home? Don't you remember that we had them in class growing up, and nothing went wrong there.".

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