Privacy alert as Texas school district scans student devices

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A school district in Texas has decided to scan its student devices to find whether they are mentally sound and haven’t been targets of cyber bullying. However, the school district has to learn a fact that such surveillance tactics might/have already triggered a kind of privacy concern among students and parents.

Longview Independent School District (Longview ISD) is the school that is discussion and has partnered with a technology firm named Gaggle that will supply the required surveillance software to monitor the messages and emails of students through a set of keywords.

The plan is to use the software and see whether the students are searching appropriate content and staying away from content that can cause self harm, suicidal tendencies, threats, inappropriate content and cyber bullying.

Longview ISD has approved a budget of $60,000 for the software purchase and deployment on school supplied devices of students. And the scanning software will be deployed on the devices by December 9th,2021.

A source from Gaggle said that its software is being used in over 1500 school districts and is doing more harm than what is being expressed by some students & parents as a concern.

Note 1- As per a 2018 study made by PEW Research Center, over 58% of teens in United States went through cyber bullying or online harassment. And name-calling stood tall on the list with over 43% of teens experiencing it in the past two years.

Note 2- Some students in Longview ISD were found circulating mendacious rumors that the about-to-be installed software can detect devices on which X-rated images were shared or downloaded in the past.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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