Advocate for student privacy
Advocate for student privacy
This petition is in response to student uproar over the implementation of the family zone app for boarding students.
Currently, School is in the process of implementing a new security system through an app called Family Zone.
The school has outlined the following details surrounding what the app will be used for:
-to provide filtering to minimise exposure to unwanted content which supports their acceptable use policy during school hours even if other networks are used to connect to the internet (eg mobile data).
However, through further investigation on the apps website, one can determine that the app encompasses much more than just this.
The website describes the following features:
Manage Screen Time
Set routines for when kids can access their device and internet
Removes adult content for safe searching
Restrict social media
Control access to social media apps and websites
Restrict YouTube content
Limit YouTube to safe content or block it altogether
Limit in-app purchases
Restrict app downloads and in-app purchases
Manage access to mobile games and gaming apps
Disable device features
Disable various device features like the camera or screen capture
Home & mobile
App and Family Zone Box work at home and when mobile to protect every device, everywhere
Reports & alerts
Parents receive reports and alerts for each child
Common opinions from students in response to these points mainly center around their privacy.
“Will they be seeing all of my texts?”
“Will they see all of my pictures?”
“Will it still operate when I am outside of boarding/ at home?”
Therefore, the main point of interest in this petition is not to remove the app completely. We understand as a student body the necessity in this developing world for security and safety.Rather, we propose that the school openly discusses the implications of this app upon students' privacy and personal life’s.
There is a growing concern for the leaking of personal information- such as texts, bank account details, and personal images- with the addition of this app. To what extent can we rely upon the app developers to maintain this privacy?
Furthermore, the potential effects this may have on the wellbeing of students must be taken into account. Students should be able to feel confident and secure in freely telling their parents/guardians about their online life, by implementing this system it may damage and obscure these confidential relationships.
Hence, it is imperative that the school takes into account the students opinions on this matter.
Possible proactive ways to support this notion include:
-form a student committee that advocates students' perspectives and ideas towards online security alongside other associated matters.
-arrange an optional assembly to further discuss the specifics of this app
Other ideas in addressing this divide are welcome.
As a final note, there are numerous other petitions surrounding this which can be accessed here:
-https://www.change.org/p/mas-stop-family-zone (petition signed by many STP students already)