Universities Collect Thousands of Location Data Points Per Student Per Day

To call this big brother is watching would be polite.

Universities are using apps on students phones and either Bluetooth beacons or WiFi to track students location including class attendance and, I would guess, how much time their spend in local bars.

The attendance part is to “encourage” students to attend class.  Students who do not “clock in” by turning on Bluetooth or Wifi on their phones and making sure the university’s app is running are counted as not attending lectures and lose points, which, in turn, affects their grade.

Some universities are even using the data to create a personal risk score for each student, allowing them to intervene, if they want to.

Students say they can’t do anything about the surveillance other than to drop out of college.

They also use the tech to make sure that athletes attend classes, which is required for them to remain eligible for their scholarships.

The system can send an email to the professor if the student skips a class or comes in, say two minutes late.

It can also tell if the student leaves before the end of the class.

It also allows the colleges to see if, for example, black students skip classes or go to bars more than white kids.  They have thousands of data points per student per day.  The possibilities to discriminate, as they say, are endless.

I guess if you spend too much time in the cafeteria, they will enroll you in more gym classes?

While college students have always been thought of as lab rats, how long will it be before employers use this to track employee behavior.  How many breaks do they take;  do they show up late or leave early.  Employees who are in high demand can tell employers to take a long walk off a short pier, but many (most?) employees don’t have that luxury.  Source: WaPo



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