Installing CCTV cams in staff rooms amounts to privacy breach, say KV teachers
CCTV cameras in Kendriya Vidyalaya staff rooms amounts to breach of privacy because they are capable of recording footage of women staffers in “awkward situations”.india Updated: May 22, 2017 22:26 IST
Women teachers at Kendriya Vidyalayas (KV) have objected to being placed under constant electronic surveillance in certain areas of the school premises, such as staff rooms.
Installation of CCTV cameras in such areas amounts to breach of privacy because they are capable of recording footage of women staffers in “awkward situations”, the teachers said at a recent joint consultative meeting (JCM) with the KV administration. They further sought immediate confiscation of such footage to prevent potential misuse.
Male teachers also protested against the indiscriminate installation of CCTV cameras.
Over 55,000 teachers are employed at 1,128 KVs across the country. The CCTV cameras were installed with the dual purpose of ensuring the safety of students and monitoring the quality of teaching at the institutions.
A list of demands submitted to the KV administration included “halting CCTV installation at staff rooms and offices with immediate effect”, besides confiscation of video footage that could portray female staffers in an embarrassing light.
JCM members also alleged that some schools have been using surveillance equipment as a means to harass staffers. They further stated that in a scenario where CCTV cameras at retail stores, hotels and public places were being blatantly misused, installing them at offices and staff rooms where female employees relax between classes amounts to breaching their freedom and privacy.
The teachers even hinted at taking legal action against those found guilty of misusing surveillance equipment. “In case of such offences, which seem to be multiplying on a daily basis at certain KVs, one may be constrained to taking legal recourse under Section 66E of the Information Technology Act-2000,” the minutes of the meeting quoted the teachers as saying.
Sources said the KV administration has decided to issue a circular stipulating the locations where the CCTV cameras should be placed. “The exercise is already underway. The guidelines for installation will be issued in a week’s time,” said a senior official.