Spying doesn’t need a permission, and that’s why Harvard has been in the headlines lately. Harvard decided that it would be a good idea to use cameras to track student attendance, and whilst students would have surely accepted the idea, the university decided it would be in their best interests to be left in the dark. Thus, we can say that Harvard now practices spying so that they can keep track of their students and how much they skip classes.
Harvard allegedly used video cameras to track the attendance of students who didn’t know they were being watched and judged for it. It does sound bad, but Harvard University has come clean about the Spring incident. According to university faculty, the whole surveillance issue with students was actually a social experiment Harvard was conducting. It seems that the university used video cameras to snap pictures of classrooms and analyze how many seats were full and how many were left empty during mandatory lectures. That means that they didn’t actually spy on students, rather on classrooms, which doesn’t sound as bad, does it?
According to Harvard University sources, the software they used to analyze footage of lecture halls didn’t have the capacity to identify individual students, so the purpose of the surveillance was more a survey than actual spying. Nonetheless, more than 2000 students were involved in the experiment, but they didn’t know they were, which poses a problem for students and Harvard, too. The university said that they had submitted their project for review with the board of the school and deleted all the photos and footage used in the experiment after it was finished. The incident has generated quite a lot of attention and the university will now submit its surveillance plans to an oversight committee so that they can determine whether the school will be using cameras and analyzing software in the future. Students who were involved didn’t come forward as of yet, but we are curious to see how the story unfolds in the future.