Freddy’s coming for you… CCTV Surveillance in Schools

The main justification for installing CCTVs is to protect children… (Perry-Hazan and Birnhack 2016, p.423)

Currently in Australia, cameras are not allowed inside the class room. However, they are used in the school grounds and surrounding areas. Having the cameras outside a person may note that it is more for security of the buildings and to potentially scare off those whom wish to harm the students; but a camera in the classroom? Surely the sole purpose of that is to watch the children and that’s abhorrent and a breach of civil rights!

During actual teaching hours, a teacher is largely unmonitored and it can be difficult to get feedback on how to improve and become better teachers. It might be hard to believe but teachers want to teach, and they want to teach well. After three – four years of study it might be a little daunting to be thrown into a ravenous pit of eleven year olds with nothing more that a few weeks of practice. Any way that a teacher can review their own work is surely for the good of the school body.


In this video teachers discuss ways in which the surveillance of the classroom has helped in their ability to teach, ranging from self-assessment, picking up when students are not engaging with the teaching; all this with the added bonus that if a teacher so wishes they can review the footage together, and nut out problems as a team. It’s just one way to take a bit of the pressure off from the teaching staff.


Other benefits from the use of CCTV surveillance technologies include:


CCTV in Schools 2016 - R. Williams
CCTV in Schools 2016 – R. Williams

Like any new technology it is marked with skepticism and fear. Some preschools and childcare centres are already using surveillance in the classroom. Every day I receive an update of what my child is doing in class. It’s always something simple; a few photos and a cheesy blurb.

It also comes with an app. that I can use to login and view all the photos.

Screen Shot Kindyhub App - R. Williams
Screen Shot Kindyhub App – R. Williams


Besides surveillance in school isn’t anything new, take the School of the Air for example:

The Alice Springs School of the Air has been completely reliant on using satellite technology to conduct classes since 2006. REACT (Remote Education and Conferencing Tool) is the most powerful learning platform and provides the video-conferencing interface for all students. Email is also a significant tool for distributing and receiving course work and the use of web tools such as Google Sites, Edmodo and Dropbox is also allowing innovation in teaching and learning to take place. (Alice Springs School of the Air n.d.)

This technology allows teachers and students to record sessions and reflect back on them later. Wilson from Katherine School of the Air states that the footage can be recorded and is used for, ‘…teachers to review the effectiveness of their lesson (self reflection and feedback) and for hard to teach concepts for students to refer back to.’ (2016), students also had this option available to them, but it is not something that is expected, as they use the same software.

The use of CCTV in schools is just one form of surveillance, but many others have been used through time, such as the roll call and general reporting. CCTV and other digital means are just the new thing, is it really something we should be afraid of? Realistically it’s just a tool, and like anything its effectiveness relies in the hands of the user.



Alice Springs School of the Air n.d. ‘FAQs’ retreived 17/8/16, <>.

Perry-Hazan, L, & Birnhack, M 2016, ‘Privacy, CCTV, and School Surveillance in the Shadow of Imagined Law’, Law & Society Review, vol. 50, no. 2, pp. 415-449.

Wilson, S 2016, personal correspondence.

The Freedom to Play

doodle jump(Doodle Jump by Johan Larsson (CC BY 2.0))

Mobile gaming applications (MGA’s) have no purpose other than to be mindless time fillers; existing in a world where time is multitudinous. Maybe not time itself, it has no tangibility, how about ‘time-packets’? Little portions of time that slip by during the day wasted. Yep, that sums it up perfectly. MGA’s fill in these time-packets with their unobtrusive and mindless ways. Next time you’re stuck at the doctor for the bus, look at the people in the waiting room; that guy’s shedding some Angry Birds; that woman has dropped a slice of Zombie Highway; that kid… OMG he’s got a book!! Look away! Look away!!!


MGA’s don’t seem to offer anything or take anything, they just exist. But do they? Realistically they are money making machines, aimed to target us when we are at our most vulnerable; like punching a guy while he’s squatting behind the bushes. When boredom takes over, the eyes roll back and maybe we’ll by some ‘Gems’ just to skip this annoying level. Ninety-nine cents a ‘Gem’ isn’t all that much; this is how they generate revenue.

Aha, but I’m too smart for all that jazz! Oh really… well there are other ways, more nefarious ways, that MGA’s make you pay for their brightly colored delights. After all it didn’t get to be ‘a ten-billion-dollar industry’ just by selling fictional trinkets (Biscotti et. al. cited in Zhang et. al. 2013, p.1487).

Some games have the ability to read data from your phone while you play it, and in turn be able to translate this data into a sellable commodity. One perfect example of this is Ingress.


(Screenshot by R. Williams 2016 –

Ingress is explicitly geared towards solving complex computational issues while also bolstering marketing apparatuses through the collection and processing of players’ behavioral data. Because surveillance is embedded into its game mechanics, Ingress produces a community where everyday surveillant labor is normalized as a valid system of exchange. It is, in fact, the gift that players continuously give in return for the privilege of play. (Hulsay and Reeves 2014, p.392)

Just like that, you’re turned into a mindless slave working for the numbers crunching machine. Although isn’t it better to have targeted advertising?

Not only that but you got to have fun doing it? So much better than having your Saturday morning ruined with some guy and a clipboard.

‘Just a quick survey sir?’

‘No dammit, I have dragons to slay!!’


Most people are probably intrinsically aware that games are doing something. We all get to see what the game wants access to and usually have ticked yes or accepted the fact that our data will be looked at. There have been reports of MGA’s doing things like this for years, but we still keep playing them.

Is it possible that we actually do need MGA’s for what they provide? A slight distraction from the monotony of a life pause? Sure there are other ways of entertaining those minute packets of time, but what else fits into such a small space and is so endearingly convenient?

being watched

(Playing games by Nellies (CC BY-NC 2.0))

It’s all a part of living in the consumer society. We ourselves drive the advertising and if deep down we didn’t want it we would just stop. Back to work everyone, lunchtimes over.


Zhang, Z, Chu, D, Chen, X, & Moscibroda, T 2013, ‘Mobile Motion Gaming: Enabling a New Class of Phone-to-Phone Action Games on Commodity Phones’, IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, vol. 12, no. 8, pp. 1487-1501.

Hulsey, N, & Reeves, J 2014, ‘The Gift that Keeps on Giving: Google, Ingress, and the Gift of Surveillance’, Surveillance & Society, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 389-400.

The Perils of Photo Geotagging

I suppose like most people I didn’t know what geotagging was and at first it seemed really bad. I immediately thought of all the photos I had shared. But after finding out that my phone had never had location switched on, there was much relaxing of sphincters; possibly even a little curiosity. Once I started playing around with the location service I started to like it and began to think of ways that it could be implemented in positive ways and where I could use it to better my life.

Essentially geotagging is when a GPS enabled device attaches longitude and latitude coordinates to a photo, which means that this photo can be located on maps.

Is this my actual location? Or am I out somewhere hunting Pokémon – I mean going for a walk? If there were a group of shots it’d be easier to tell (or you could just ask! Rude much?) and that’s where the problem lies.
When you upload photos it is possible that a person can download them and, quite easily, find out where it was taken. Sounds scary? At first it seems very frightening; although most social media sites strip the data to save on file space (Schwartz 2013).
The risks of allowing geotagged photos to be broadcast include:

  • People being aware of when you are not home.
  • A child’s location being tracked.
  • Location of endangered animals being inadvertently tracked by tourists (Boyle 2015).

There are many benefits of geotagging as well, such as:

  • Patient tracking to demonstrate the spread of disease outbreak (Velasco, et al. 2014, p.23).
  • Creating, ‘a personal travel guide.’ (Humphreys & Liao 2011, p.412) to share with others.
  • Entertainment, such as sharing Geocache location finds.
  • Marking places of interest and importance, such as hard to find historic sites.

Finding out geotag information is easy enough. It’s a simple as looking at the properties of the file, in some instances a link is provided to exactly pin point the location on a map. There are also websites available ( that allow you to upload photos and remove or add geotags.

In dealing with geotag surveillance being prepared and aware is probably the best defense. The more mindful the user is of surveillance technologies such as these the less likely they will be caught out.

To find out how to switch geotagging on or off on my phone – Sony Experia Z5 – I had to hit the web as I had no idea if it was running. But now that I know how (and a handy little pin tells me), I am going to use it regularly; especially in one of my fields of interest, discovering street art.

How to links:

Boyle, D 2015, ‘Now poachers are using Facebook and Twitter to track down rare animals: Gangs scour social media for geo-tagged photos then use co-ordinates to find wildlife.’, retrieved 27/7/16, <>.

Humphreys, L, & Liao, T 2011, ‘Mobile Geotagging: Reexamining Our Interactions with Urban Space’, Journal Of Computer-Mediated Communication, 3, p. 407, Academic OneFile.

Schwartz, M 2013, ‘Facebook Stalking Fears: 6 Geotagging Facts’, retrieved 27/7/2016, <>.
Vamosi, R 2010, ‘What digital photos reveal about you: the geotagging data in mobile phone images lets strangers know exactly where you are’, PC World, 11, p. 39, General Reference Center Gold.

Velasco, E, Agheneza, T, Denecke, K, Kirchner, G, & Eckmanns, T 2014, ‘Social Media and Internet-Based Data in Global Systems for Public Health Surveillance: A Systematic Review’, Milbank Quarterly, 92, 1, pp. 7-33, Health Business Elite.


Click Bait – Short Story flash fiction challenge as set by Chuck Wendig.


MITCH_DALSON [CHNL42]: The daily struggle continues as those on the suburbs struggle with the ever rising risk of [read more…]

JULIETTE_SWAN [CHNL42]: Ten ways to find out if your breasts are normal! Most studies found that women are seeking [read more…]

BRICK_TANNER [CHNL42]: BREAKING NEWS!! Is your skin dry? Do you feel thirsty more often than what is considered normal? If so then you may be [read more…]

KOOKIE_BROOKIE: @DUNGEON_MISTRESS_KAZ really? You invited these pole shark mofo’s in! they are rectal warts.

SAMBO: sounds like you know something about that?

KOOKIE_BROOKIE: that was one time @SAMBO and do you really want to go there?



SAMBO: I withdraw my comments — you have affine ass btw 😛

KOOKIE_BROOKIE: @SAMBO go eat a bag of dicks


KOOKIE_BROOKIE: no time for QT stuff. Its al ads and bullshite

DUNGEON_MISTRESS_KAZ: true but it amusing bullshite

KOOKIE_BROOKIE: the addless silence of our little collective was one of the most pleasant experiences of my day and now you opened the door. Talk about blood sucking vultures and we are the slowly decomposing body washed up on the sandy shore of their vacation home.


BARRY_HAM [CHNL42]: Leading scientist’s suggest that uncontrollable sexual urges can be a leading cause of prostate cancer [read more…]

WOOD_DG: boner el muerto 🙁

WOOD_DG has logged off…

A_GUY_THANG: wow that was fast


A_GUY_THANG: omg I totally didn’t mean it like that. I meant the ad news thingy whatevs that was.

PINK_VAMPS77: totally fking with you dude

KOOKIE_BROOKIE: exactly, its shit

PINK_VAMPS77: I agree with @D they are a bit funny. Just yesterday my vag was so hairy.

PETER_PARKER [CHNL42]: In entertainment tonight, we list the monster top ten crotch shots of your favourite celebrities. Have you seen them all? [read more…]

PINK_VAMPS77: lol peter parker? I think the name generato is fkd.

JULES_SORRENTO [CHNL42]: General Fakimoto has raided several small villages, killing over three thousand. This is the third time that Fakimoto has sought to gain power and analysts are saying that [read more…]

PINK_VAMPS77: wow just wow

KELDON_THE_MIGHTY has logged off…


DUNGEON_MISTRESS_KAZ: nope not unitl you apologuise

PINK_VAMPS77: not this again. You guys need to meet fuck and then get over it.

A_GUY_THANG has logged off…

PINK_VAMPS77: holy shit were dropping guys faster than some ass-faced celebrity in need of a ratings boost.

SAMBO: lolz

KOOKIE_BROOKIE: fine Lord of Sauce is not the worst horror ever made. I now totally believe that Some Like it Knifey is.


HARRY_POOL [CHNL42]: Juicy time for some scares? The Midnight Train has just released new behind the scenes footage of one of the top ten grossing horror films, fresh from the tombs of Hollywood [read more…]

KOOKIE_BROOKIE: nope I can’t do it, Lord of Sauce is the all-time low. In some parts you can see through the rubber suit.

TENEAL_SCOTT [CHNL42]: Ready for some late night adult entertainment, this week we look at the top twenty fetishes and how they affect the lives of those that [read more…]


PINK_VAMPS77: omg nooooooo…

SAMBO: somebody call?

PINK_VAMPS77: slap

SAMBO: fap

PINK_VAMPS77: lol you cockhead

PENELOPE_VAIL [CHNL42]: In Russia today a man has blown off his penis by taking ten times the recommended dose of Viagra. Early reports say he was seeking work in the adult film industry and the incident occurred just outside his mother’s [read more…]


KOOKIE_BOOKIE: someone text me when this is over :{


DUNGEON_MISTRESS_KAZ: aww I didn’t mean it

KOOKIE_BROOKIE has logged off…

SAMBO has logged off…

DUNGEON_MISTRESS_KAZ: you guys just a bit of fun?

PINK_VAMPS77: sometimes… maybe just a tad too far?

DUNGEON_MISTRESS_KAZ: ffs someone draw me a line then

PINK_VAMPS77: —————————————————

PINK_VAMPS77: it was okay for a bit…

PINK_VAMPS77 has logged off…

DUNGEON_MISTRESS_KAZ: anyone still here?



DUNGEON_MISTRESS_KAZ: nobody wants to play my games anymore :{

JIG_SAW [CHNL42]: would you like to play a game?

DUNGEON_MISTRESS_KAZ: those movies sucked

DUNGEON_MISTRESS_KAZ has logged off…