Facebook PixelDaycare video surveillance with no privacy leakage
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Daycare video surveillance with no privacy leakage

Image credit: @bethbapchurch BBC Creative

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Ahmad Othman
Ahmad Othman Jan 13, 2021

General comments

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JK
Juran K.5 days ago
I am personally against any kind of surveillance, especially in educational institutions. Why?

1) There is "no real benefit" neither for the parents nor the kids
We all agree that these institutions both teach and raise our kids. At the same time, the time when the kid is in kindergarten is the time we have for ourselves. Therefore, not all parents would like to use this kind of monitoring systems. The ones who would love to use it fit into two categories: the obsessive and the skeptical (most of them). The skeptics would use the app to monitor their kids as long as they are not sure that they are safe and sound. Data show that parents' log-on time reduces drastically after some time when they gain trust (https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/parents-can-now-remotely-monitor-preschoolers/article27085354.ece). The obsessive ones do it because they want to control every second of their kid's life, which can also turn out bad. Therefore, monitoring kids through an app seems a bit too drastic and normal people would not use it that much. The same feeling of institutional transparency, accountability, and children's safety can be achieved through open-door policies or classroom activities where parents can directly play a role (e.g. parent's day).

2) The risk:benefit ratio is high
If we account for the privacy issues related to these online monitoring systems, the risk:benefit ratio is just too high.
Also, blurring of the live video requires a third party that blurs the video, stores the original one, and potentially alters the original. Moreover, the blur effect seems to be easily resolved by novel AI-techniques (https://faculty.ucmerced.edu/mhyang/papers/iccv2017_gan_super_deblur.pdf, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320094558_Effectiveness_and_Users%27_Experience_of_Face_Blurring_as_a_Privacy_Protection_for_Sharing_Photos_via_Online_Social_Networks). I would suggest blacking- or whitening-out as a safer method, which would then drastically change and limit the monitoring experience.

3) The institutions that implement these systems seem more secure and transparent - but are they and did it alter the quality of the child care?
Why most people want to monitor their kids is because they do not trust the system. What if the teacher has a bad day and yells at my kid or worse (https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1145356.shtml)? It's a reasonable concern, but it should be taken care of by the institution or the other third-party agencies. At the same time in a parallel universe, nobody monitors you while you raise your kid at home. What if you have a bad day and yell at your kid (or worse)? Would you agree to be monitored? Probably not. But even if you did, your behavior under surveillance would be artificial and forced. It would not reflect the real nature of your character and your emotions would be muffled. You would find another way to express your stress or anger. The same could happen to the kindergarten personnel. Their behavior and professional performance could be heavily influenced, which could reflect to lower quality of the child care. At the same time, your kid would be taught the "wrong truth" about the world, which could affect its social capabilities outside the kindergarten.

I know it cannot be easily compared, but would you agree to your kid being taught and raised by perfectly designed and programmed robots? ...because that's the direction we are going in.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic9 days ago
Pretty cool idea. It would give parents peace of mind and ensure that kids are always in good hands, even when the teachers have a bad day. I remember this wasn't the case in my kindergarten days:)