Cátedra UNESCO de Bioética



"Back to Surveillance School"

The Markup

Earlier this year, the head of my son's middle school called me during the day—which is always a bad sign. My son, it turned out, had been Google searching for news about mass shootings, and the administrators were worried. They were, of course, tracking his Google searches on his school-issued laptop. It was a bit of surveillance that was at once totally routine and also totally extraordinary.

In today's world, the indulgence of a private curiosity feels like a luxury. To understand the impact of all this surveillance on students, I turned to Elizabeth Laird, who leads the Student Privacy Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology and recently co-wrote a report on the harms caused by school surveillance.