Two stories have caught my eye in recent days which have left me wondering about the rights of privacy for under-16's.
The first is an undeniably creepy story in the Manchester Evening News, which reports that Salford Council has been criticised by the Information Commissioner's Office for filming primary school children in classrooms and, more worryingly, in their gym changing rooms.
In a rare show of commonsense, the assistant commissioner of the ICO ruled that,
"CCTV should only be used for a pressing need. It is perfectly reasonable for a school to use CCTV to help secure its premises, but it shouldn't be left switched on capturing images of school children changing during the day."
I then read about this scheme being piloted in the United States, which allows parents to monitor their children at school 24 hours-a-day via an interactive website.
Both cases could be classed as unacceptable surveillance. However while the first was roundly condemned, the second has won plaudits. The difference is, of course, the opinion of the parents and what they perceive to be best for their children.
There are however much wider implications for the effects of anaesthetising future generations to CCTV cameras and surveillance. Freedom, in part, depends on us teaching what freedom is to the youngest in society.
By Dylan Sharpe