Best Practices for Recording School Events & Protecting Children’s Privacy
June 28, 2023
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In an age of transformative technology, it wouldn’t make sense to not incorporate these digital resources within our educational systems, where those that will take us into the future are being prepped for life.
Technology is also a proponent of convenience and efficiency; schools now widely employ recording equipment for this very reason. Whether it be to preserve the memories of their events, bolster security, or act as evidence when investigations take place, many schools are seeking to be under surveillance. It is, however, imperative that schools ensure their recording practices are performed in a way that prioritizes privacy and is in compliance with legal and ethical obligations.
This article has been written to help you navigate through and understand what schools are obligated to take into consideration to ensure that the privacy of children, staff, and attendees remains sacrosanct when recording school events.
Legal and Ethical Considerations
There are typically legal frameworks established to determine how schools must operate in the handling of student and staff information. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a law that plays a significant role in safeguarding the privacy of student education records. When recording and sharing footage, schools must comply with FERPA to avoid infringing on students' rights and putting them at risk.
Schools have an ethical duty to protect the privacy of children and staff, which is why no individual’s personal data or dignity should be compromised when recording events. Acquiring consent, having clear communication on policies, and providing people with a choice regarding their inclusion in school event recordings are the best ways to respect privacy.
Student and Staff Privacy
People have a fundamental right to privacy, and schools are therefore obligated to proactively ensure their students and staff’s privacy is adequately protected during recorded events. Consent should always be obtained, individuals in the recording need to be made aware of its purpose, and individuals must be given the chance to opt-out. Opting out can mean choosing to exclude their information or image from the end recording.
Communication and Consent
Consent must be given by individuals at recorded school events. Clear communication strategies must be formulated to ensure students, staff, and attendees understand why they’re being recorded, the school’s intention with the footage, and their privacy rights. Building trust and ensuring comfort with the recording process can be achieved by creating a safe, transparent space where open dialogue can take place.
Security Video Redaction
Security video redaction solutions can be employed to shield the privacy of school event attendees even further. Through video redaction technology, sensitive identifiable elements such as faces, student IDs, or other personal information are automatically blurred, which ensures individual anonymity for those captured in the footage. Another layer of identification protection is created through video redaction for all those captured in the recording.
Compliance with Privacy Regulations: A key benefit of video redaction is that it safeguards privacy while preserving the integrity of recorded material. This technology can blur or pixelate specific sections of the video, which means schools can still record the footage while remaining in compliance with privacy regulations. This helps to mitigate legal risks and maintain a positive reputation within the community.
Enhanced Efficiency: Through the implementation of video redaction technology, as manual editing of footage is no longer required, efficiency is drastically increased. This has the multi-function of reducing human error, giving time back to admin and security personnel, and freeing up school resources.
Preserving Valuable Memories: Redaction technology allows schools to focus on capturing the essence and emotions of school events without compromising privacy. Schools can ensure that valuable memories are preserved while respecting the privacy rights of individuals involved.
Building Trust and Confidence: Prioritizing privacy protection demonstrates a commitment to the well-being and security of the school community. Educational institutions can build trust and confidence among students, parents, and staff, knowing that their privacy is respected and upheld.
On Compliance with Privacy Regulations
Schools must adhere to privacy regulations when recording events - this is where FERPA plays a particularly prominent role. Using video redaction techniques is a sign of a school’s willingness to comply and protect personal information from being misused. Video redaction can, among other functions, obscure an individual's identity and keep sensitive information (like grades and medical reports) confidential.
Data Security and Storage
Post-production, it is imperative that school event recordings are secured. This is to prevent any misuse of the footage and can be done by investing in impregnable storage systems that are encrypted and have access controls. This works to maintain the privacy and integrity of the footage while also protecting it from unauthorized access.
Response and Investigations
Event footage can be used to deal with disciplinary issues or assist law enforcement, thereby playing a vital role in incident response and investigations. Schools can retain ownership of their event recordings while adhering to privacy laws and taking ethical considerations into account.
Training and Awareness
Staff should be properly trained by schools, as this will contribute to the effective protection of privacy during recorded school events. Some of the best privacy practices include obtaining consent and using video redaction technology, and these should be taught during training seminars. Schools should strive to foster a culture of privacy and accountability; ensuring staff members are educated regarding their responsibilities and role in privacy security is a great step.
There are many benefits to recording school events, and this doesn’t need to change. Schools do have a responsibility to comprehensively navigate and deploy the best strategies to ensure their compliance with FERPA and other regulatory bodies. If they adhere to privacy laws and remain abreast of the legal and ethical landscape, school event recordings pose no threat or risk.
Employing streamlined technology such as video redaction will assist schools in adapting even faster to protecting the privacy of children, staff, and all those captured in school event recordings.
In this pursuit, Sighthound's Redactor emerges as a powerful tool that enables schools to confidently document and preserve school events while upholding privacy standards. By leveraging advanced security video redaction technology, schools can blur or remove identifiable elements from event footage, safeguarding personal information and respecting privacy regulations. This innovative solution empowers educational institutions to navigate the complex landscape of event recording with ease and peace of mind.
Remember, by prioritizing privacy, schools not only fulfill their obligations but also instill a culture of trust and respect within their communities. As renowned author Maya Angelou once said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
Book a demo with our team today and join the community of educational institutions that prioritize privacy without compromising on the joy of documenting memorable moments.
"Privacy is not something that I'm merely entitled to, it's an absolute prerequisite."