{“data”:[{“type”:”text”,”data”:{“text”:”Harvard University students and faculty alike have voiced privacy concerns over [revelations](\\-secretly\\-photographed\\-students\\-study\\-class\\-attendance\\-raising\\-privacy\\-concerns/hC8TBdGdZmQehg0lAhnnJN/story.html?hootPostID=a2cb1f2225d39a5993c630d251c6f278) that the school surreptitiously photographed approximately 2,000 students in 10 lecture halls last spring in an effort to study attendance in the classroom.\n”}},{“type”:”html”,”data”:{“text”:”“}},{“type”:”text”,”data”:{“text”:”The institution’s attempt to furtively collect data regarding the habits of its student body looms in the lasting light of [a 2013 report](\\-university\\-administrators\\-secretly\\-searched\\-deans\\-email\\-accounts\\-hunting\\-for\\-media\\-leak/tHyFUYh2FNAaG2w9wzcrLL/story.html) that school administrators had secretly mined the e\\-mail accounts of 16 resident deans in search of a whistleblower that leaked information about an [expansive cheating scandal](\\-details\\-suspensions\\-massive\\-cheating\\-scandal/6gzGzU2WvbFG17T4kAq50L/story.html) to the media.\n\nThe latter controversy has garnered near universal mention in the coverage of the former story because people are outraged for the same primary reason: no one wants to be subjected to unwitting surveillance.\n\nIt’s important to note, [as pointed out by professor Peter Bol, who authorized the study](\\-professors\\-object\\-to\\-student\\-monitoring), that the school’s Institutional Review Board \\(IRB\\) found that the practice “did not constitute human\\-subjects research” prior to it being carried out. But that’s not what’s so disconcerting. Rather, the worry derives from a lack of transparency.\n\nWhen Harvard clandestinely searched the emails of its deans, the school, which is arguably the international poster of higher learning, betrayed the trust of its community. It exemplified the prevailing fear in society that a free flow of ideas can only exist under the secret purview of authority. This type of trust can’t be simply awarded back. It must be earned back, and even then, persist under a cloud of incredulity.\n\nLauren Landry, a friend and former colleague of mine, refuted the idea that any noxious parallel exists between the two cases, writing for [BostInno](\\-to\\-harvard\\-study\\-which\\-involved\\-secretly\\-photographing\\-students/), that the dean e\\-mail hack was “for petty purposes” while this latest study existed to “improve how education is being delivered at Harvard.”\n\nI’d agree that yes, of course, the intent behind each case of monitoring lacks even the faintest correspondence. I’d counter by saying that this story has not one iota to do with intent. Is anyone at Harvard under the impression that this examination was put in place for nefarious purposes? The anger stems not from the fact of surveillance, but from the fact of secret surveillance.\n\nThe responding argument to that would explain that had Harvard examined knowledgeable participants, the results of the study would have been swayed, creating an imperfect, less useful analysis for researchers.\n\nWithout dismissing the credence, necessity, or methods of the study though, this anger we now see bubbling up was of a highly predictable ilk, especially given recent history at the school.\n\n”}}]}