Data Privacy and Student Tracking in the Wake of COVID-19

As colleges now to try decide whether to have on campus classes in the fall, the option of student data tracking is an option making privacy rights activists concerned. I’m Amy E. Feldman.

Decisions by colleges about whether to have on campus classes in the fall have so far run the gamut from Texas A&M, which is planning to have on-campuses classes with football games to University of Akron that will close six campuses, to Stanford which is considering holding all classes in tents in the fall.

One option that many colleges have said they are considering is whether to require students to be tracked through a phone app before being allowed on campus. Such apps have already been used in Hong Kong and South Korea, where authorities track people to digitally enforce quarantine orders.

In the US it’s not illegal to ask people voluntarily to sign up for the tracking, even if failing to so-called volunteer will mean not being allowed on campus. Even though legal, tracking concerns privacy rights experts, who worry about giving institutions the right to surveille people who are not accused of any crime, particularly if there are no limits on sharing that information. You have a right to ask about your privacy before you decide where to be in the fall.

From The Judge Group, I’m Amy E. Feldman for KYW News Radio.

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