The prestigious Harvard University has revealed it conducted an experiment using cameras to track attendance.
The experiment which used security cameras and custom software to analyse the number of empty seats in a lecture hall, was conducted without the consent of the 2000 students involved.
Unsurprisingly, this has prompted a backlash from those students, who have reacted not so positively to the notion that they were being spied on. While the cameras apparently couldn’t distinguish individual faces, it’s worth noting that none of the experiment’s participants had any way of opting out.
The researchers have defended themselves by noting that they did follow all the correct procedures, such as submitting the experiment’s plans to a review board and ensuring all the images taken were deleted by the end of the project.
The university has listened to the concerns however and is bringing the issue to an oversight committee, with the hope of preventing ethical issues like this in future experiments.
Source: Boston Globe
Image: tpsdave at Pixabay