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Social Media: Balancing Security and Privacy

by Jerry Davich

eSchool News

Article excerpt

Do social media security alert programs protect or invade?

Most of these high-tech threat-assessment programs claim they do not profile or monitor people who remain “invisible” until they iterate a threat via public social media. When the system finds key words or phrases on any public social media platform, designated people in authority, such as school administrators, counselors or law enforcement, are immediately alerted.

Our take

Taking Social Threats Seriously

Heightened security concerns at both the K-12 and higher ed levels have led many institutions to adopt threat assessment programs that can monitor social media channels for potential risks. But, does such monitoring raise privacy concerns? How will your school system balance safety and privacy issues to adopt the right approach?

Debates are raging in multiple quarters about the appropriate balance between security and personal privacy. Schools are no exception as security concerns have mounted amid numerous incidents of violence. Finding the right balance should involve collaboration, coordination and conversation among multiple constituents—as well as education for students, staff, parents and instructors. As this piece points out, what students may perceive as “just a joke” could have far greater ramifications—for their schools, and for them.