This school outreach event consisting of interactive talks and workshops on social media surveillance, tracking and human rights will focus on both individuals and businesses and will aim to raise pupils’ awareness about data protection, observation, safety and the use of social media.
The event is aimed at pupils from Year 10 onwards. Professor Andy Phippen and other experts in the field (to be confirmed) will introduce pupils to the complexity of online safety, surveillance and human rights and the way individuals and businesses use digital technology. Raising awareness of these topics is essential as privacy is important and an inherent human right.
Privacy is a fundamental human right recognised in the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and in many other international and regional treaties. Privacy underpins human dignity and other key values such as freedom of association and freedom of speech. For young and vulnerable people invasion of privacy can mean an breech of their safety. They will lead lives of unprecedented involvement with electronic communication and should learn to incorporate considered, routine safety practices from the start.
The 21st century is a century of collection and distribution of huge amounts of data on ordinary people as well as businesses. The widespread use of social media helps to facilitate the gathering and dissemination of information and surveillance is becoming universal but is conversely increasingly coming to be seen as an essential tool for the preservation of human rights.
Surveillance is usually understood as the purposeful monitoring of individuals by those in authority but more recently so called ‘participatory surveillance a type of surveillance where people willingly keep watch on each other through social media, has become the focus of concern. Surveillance practices go beyond facilitating online social networking to actually constituting voluntary espionage, as users continue to return to the site to update their own profiles, or to stay current on others’ activities. Self-disclosure is at the core of the most popular social media interaction, as users of Facebook, Instagram etc present themselves to the world through the release of information about their preferences, histories, activities and opinions.
Facebook is synonymous with surveillance; information is currency in the digital age, and governments are not the only ones interested in harvesting it. A number of commercial and private organisations and services collect and use the information gathered on social media. For example Facebook (Lee and Cook 2014, as cited in Fulton, J. and Kibby, M. 2017) collects and uses members’ data often without the knowledge of the users, even if they have inadvertently consented to its harvesting.
This event is only open to schools - please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attending.