Extensive camera surveillance in Norwegian schools

CameraCamera.Photo: Jon-Michael Josefsen / Scanpix

Several thousand Norwegian students attend schools which use  surveillance cameras.The Data Inspectorate describes the practice as problematic.

Dagsavisen has mapped the use of camera surveillance in Norwegian schools and estimates that between 25,000 and 30,000 children and young people attend schools using surveillance cameras.

The estimate is based on the 119 schools which have reported the practice to the Data Inspectorate, but the Inspectorate believes this is just the tip of the iceberg and that many have failed to notify them that they use surveillance camera.

Legal adviser at the Data Inspectorate, Gullik Gundersen  says that there are strict criteria that need to be fulfilled for schools to be allowed to use surveillance cameras to monitor their children.

– At a school this is particularly problematic. Children are far more vulnerable to this type of control than adults. It feels harder and can lead to changes in behavior.

Surveillance in the workplace is regulated by the Working Environment Act and they have safety representatives. But the   children do not have any such representatives,  Gundersen says.

Dagsavisen has contacted the principals at the schools who use surveillance cameras and have reported this to the Inspectorate. The newspaper writes that one answer is repeated by many of the principals: They want to get rid of vandalism and crime on the school grounds. Minister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen does not want to make any comments on the issue.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

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