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Live-stream spying on kids at school violates their rights

China Daily | Updated: 2017-04-27 07:41

Live-stream spying on kids at school violates their rights

Students from Guangxi University of Science and Technology play with pupils in Tantou township, Liuzhou city, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, in July. English, dancing, painting and calligraphy classes were held for the pupils during summer vacation. Tan Kaixing / for China Daily

IT IS REPORTED THAT some schools have installed cameras in classrooms and dormitories and provide the video to live broadcast websites. Beijing News comments:

The pupils are watched by tens of thousands of people nationwide. It reminds us of the movie The Truman Show, where the main character lives in an artificial mini-world where he is watched by a worldwide audience around the clock.

The difference is, at the end of the movie Truman escapes from the artificial world in which he has been living, but the pupils are still being watched by audiences nationwide even though the media has exposed the voyeurism.

Legally speaking, school authorities that install cameras in classrooms and dormitories and provide video to live broadcast websites violate pupils' rights, because they invade the children's privacy without their consent.

According to reports, some of the schools argued they obtained consent from the pupils' parents when installing the cameras. The problem is, even though the pupils are minors they have the right to their own privacy, and so the consent of their parents is not valid. More important, the schools did not tell the parents that videos would be provided to live broadcast websites to be streamed nationwide.

Some "experts" have even claimed the pupils are attending a class and classrooms are public areas, so such broadcasts are not infringing on their privacy. Such opinions are nonsense because they totally ignore the pupils' legal right to privacy and the fact that classrooms are not public spaces to which everyone has the right of access.

China has been constantly improving the rule of law and made many achievements in the past few years. But it seems, teachers and schools need reminding they must respect the legal rights of their pupils. If the pupils realize their privacy and legal rights are being violated in such a way, how can they trust the rule of law?

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