A disturbing trend that has been taking place in recent years is the rise of the surveillance state as enforced by employers and families. Whether it is the “doorbell” cameras, internal house cameras (which all can be accessed by outside sources as long as they are Internet-capable), workplace applications that monitor “productivity”, and even store cameras at major big-box corporations that employ artificial intelligence in real time on customers without their knowledge, not only is privacy a thing of the past, but a future that Hitler, Mao, and Stalin could have only dreamed of is the reality of daily life in America as far as the ability to surveil the masses is.
It is into this situation that another disturbing trend is growing, where colleges are now requiring students to install tracking apps on their phones so they can track them in real time no matter where they go.
University of Missouri students, be warned: If it’s not Big Brother watching you, it might be your professors and university administrators.
The school is using hidden technology and an app on student cellphones to keep track of who is in class and who is not.
Officials say it’s for the students’ own good. Besides, they say, MU’s athletic department has been using the tracking app the past four years for all freshmen athletes, plus any athlete in academic trouble.
The phone app is called Spotter, developed by a former Mizzou basketball coach. It works using short-range phone sensors and campus-wide WiFi networks. The university can tell when a student crosses a classroom threshold to enter or leave as the cellphone pings off of a beacon stashed in the room. The app notifies students that they are not in class, in case they are there and forgot to turn on their Bluetooth setting.
“It’s the way of leveraging technology to provide us with timely information,” said Spain. It’s also an effort to help students improve their academic performance. “It has been proven that class attendance and student success are linked.” (source)