Just now, I stumbled across something very interesting while browsing my faculty’s webpage at York University.
The article related to the new Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies (LA&PS) and finalizing its official name. I came across a picture (below) which was apparently taken from a security camera. The text reads, “Students review course offerings online.”
Catch my drift, yet? What is an image from a security camera doing on the website? Did these people know they were being recorded and that their images will be used for publicity? More importantly, the camera has clear view of the monitor screens as is both visually and textually evident (as the title reads). What are the terms and conditions of surveillance at a private institution and what constitutes fair use?
While the individuals faces are not visible, most of their body features are including hair, built, and gender to name a few.
We live in a supposedly post-modern society where surveillance is important not only to keep track of individuals to provide for them (think national censuses), but also to protect them from themselves. But how far are we willing to compromise rightful privacy (the data entered on those systems are personal bits of information, the keyboard is visible and so is the screen) for the sake of the institution’s benefit?
If I were in this picture, or any other picture, I would feel like a voluntary inmate. Is the use of such images ethical?
This reminds me of an article I once read on Blog TO about Justification of CCTV wher a York graduate was arrested in a rape case. I’m pretty sure Chris Orbz (the author of that article) will be really interested. And I’m interested in what he has to say.
In recent times, in light of the increase in sexual assaults at York, the senate decided to pass a budget for an increase in the CCTV coverage extending to all the exits and entrances of the residence buildings of both the Glendon and Keele campuses. Orbz says, “…and CCTV can be wielded as a weapon as much as a tool.”
The York University Security Services website states, “Cameras generally cannot be utilized where there is an expectation of privacy.” Why then was a camera pointed straight at a personal data collection and transferring terminal?