Friday, December 27, 2019

CURMUDGUCATION: Big Brother U & The Surveillance State

CURMUDGUCATION: Big Brother U  The Surveillance State

Big Brother U & The Surveillance State

If you missed this article at Washington Post about on campus surveillance of students-- well, congratulations on having one less troubling thought in your head over the past week. Because the surveillance is continuing its slow, steady advance. Now technology lets colleges monitor their students 24/7. Yay.

This particular article focuses on a company called SpotterEDU, and they are creepy as hell. The main part of their is a quick, easy technofix for taking attendance. Students are required to download the app (this also means, though the article is so tech forward it doesn't even address these issues, that students are also required to carry an up-to-date cellphone and keep it fully charged at all times) which then "checks in" with Bluetooth beacons in classrooms on campus (or anywhere else the beacons are planted).

Bluetooth beacons were supposed to be the Thing Of The Year in 2016, the tech that was going to put coupons on our phones when we approached a certain product and which would unlock doors as we walked closer. As with virtually every big tech promise of the last twenty years, it hasn't exactly arrived yet. If the function of Bluetooth in my home is any indicator, I'm guessing we have a few bugs to work out yet.

That seems to be the case for some students, who report in the article that they get in fights with the tech about whether or not they were really absent or late to class. yay, computer technology-- usually almost doing of what it's supposed to do, sort of. As the SpotterEDU Terms of Service say, its CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: Big Brother U & The Surveillance State