Harvard used cameras to trace attendance with out telling college students

Harvard used cameras to track attendance without telling students

You’ve got in all probability had professors that obtained in your case for lacking class, however they do not maintain a candle to what Harvard College’s school tried this previous spring. The establishment carried out an experiment that used surveillance cameras to trace attendance, snapping photographs that a pc analyzed to find out the variety of empty seats in a given lecture corridor. Whereas the system could not determine particular person college students, the varsity did not inform the two,000 individuals concerned that they have been underneath watch — that they had no solution to object to the check.

The researchers say they in any other case adopted the correct steps, together with submitting the experiment to a evaluation board prematurely and deleting the pictures as quickly as all the things wrapped up. Nevertheless, the choice to spy on college students has nonetheless triggered sufficient of an uproar that Harvard is rethinking its technique. The college is handing the difficulty to an oversight committee that was already wanting into worries about e mail, and the evaluation board will now refer these types of research to the undergraduate Dean’s workplace and (hopefully) forestall ethics violations earlier than they occur. It isn’t clear if different establishments will take note of this incident and keep away from intrusive know-how within the classroom, nevertheless it no less than serves as an essential precedent.

[Image credit: Darren McCollester via Getty Images]

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