All of the Chromebooks this year have a small camera on them. They aren’t that good, yet they could still be used to look at students while in class or at home. While I don’t think the school administration would do this, it still is possible. If you’ve used a chromebook and have tried to go to a site like Netflix, I’m sure you’ve encountered a screen telling you that the page has been blocked by Securly. Securly is a company that says their primary focus is student safety. While I think this piece of software is a justified addition to the Chromebooks at school, Dyknow, another piece of student surveillance software, crosses the line. Dyknow allows teachers to monitor your screen in real time, what you are doing all of the time (which Securly does as well), and send messages directly to you via the Chrome extension. The reason I think Dyknow is a breach of privacy is because it would allow a teacher to look at you through the installed camera at home if you have the camera app running in the background.
I would hope that this breach of privacy never happens, and I doubt it does due to the uselessness of the camera app. Although it may be unlikely, it still could happen. Even though I trust that teachers and administrators don’t abuse this power, I still think that a service like Dyknow should be uninstalled or deactivated on our chromebooks since Securly is a less invasive alternative that provides similar or better information that administrators and teachers should care about.
By Davis Hardy