NOS Youth News: Concerns over surveillance cameras in schools
"An increasing number of schools have security cameras in, for example, the canteen, by the coat racks or in the schoolyard. This is according to a tour by NOS Youth News of 20 primary and secondary schools and relevant agencies."
"Some schools even have more than 40 cameras on the premises. They have to abide by privacy rules but are not actively monitored for compliance unless there is a complaint."
Privacy experts sometimes worry about the lack of control, but also about the presence of cameras an sich. Schools must always have a valid reason for putting up a camera. Images should only be viewed if there is reason to do so and should not be kept for more than four weeks anyway. There must also be signs indicating camera surveillance.
Lawyer Simone van Dijk of the Privacy First foundation doubts whether schools have such serious security problems to justify the presence of cameras. She also believes that supervision of schoolchildren lies primarily with school staff and teachers, and that camera surveillance could potentially backfire.
"If there is an incident, it will come to light naturally, through conversations", says Van Dijk. "By hanging cameras, you are likely to make teachers pay less attention. Students may also think: 'I won't say anything about it because it's on camera anyway'. Children have a right to privacy", she continued. "They should have the opportunity to make mistakes that are not visible to everyone."”