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Here’s why you should worry about CCTVs at Madhyamik centres in West Bengal

The state government plans to intsall CCTVs at secondary education examination or Madhyamik centres and withhold results in case of vandalism.

Student hackers at work

What’s the news: As if “eyes on every square kilometre” wasn’t enough, the West Bengal government now plans to monitor secondary education or Madhyamik examination centres. According to Millennium Post, the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) plans to install CCTVs in such areas and withhold results of any school whose students indulge in acts of vandalism. As many as three CCTVs will be mandatorily set up to detect any “acts of vandalism or acrimony.” Their footage will be geo-tagged and a complaint will be sent to the WBBSE so that the results of the school may be withheld. Further, the school will have to pay compensation for the loss of property and seek an apology to have their results published. Here’s what we don’t understand: How will the WBBSE identify the students without a video analytics software like facial recognition? And if it does have facial recognition/ detection software, why isn’t the government making this information public? Why it matters: Even with the best quality software, the WBBSE officials will be hard-pressed to manually identify students. Even if the school authorities were to be involved, it would mean processing of students’ (read minors’) personal data. As per the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022, processing of children’s data requires parental/guardian consent. As such, the education department must explain how it intends to carry this decision, especially considering results of an entire school will be withheld impacting their individual rights as well. Monitoring starts from February 23: As per…

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I'm interested in the shaping and strengthening of rights in the digital space. I cover cybersecurity, platform regulation, gig worker economy. In my free time, I'm either binge-watching an anime or off on a hike.

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