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Faculty Council Archaeology discusses the classroom scanners

16 December 2021

You may have seen scanners hanging from the ceiling at the entrance to or in a teaching room in one of our buildings. This is a Classroom Scanner, a scanner that counts how many people are in the room. Questions were raised about these scanners and the impact they may or may not have on people’s privacy. Monique Teufer, Director of the University Services Department, spoke with the Faculty Board and Council of Archaeology about the scanner situation.

Privacy audit

Chair of the Faculty Council, Marie Kolbenstetter, describes the meeting. ‘The colleagues of the University Services Department explained what the scanners do. We had a Q&A session of half an hour where we could ask questions.’ The Faculty Council was happy with the initiative. ‘Before they reached out to us and presented the situation we had a lot of questions. We appreciated them making time for us.’

Looking back, Marie notes that the council trusts nothing bad was intended. ‘Though as they said themselves, there were a lot of ‘slordigheden’ (careless actions) on their part, both in installation and communication. They let us know the scanners are under privacy audit right now, so we are happy to hear they are stepping up to correct the mistakes.’
 

Value

Even so, the Faculty Council will closely continue to monitor the situation. ‘If the cameras are just used the way they described to us, there is no real privacy issue involved, and we see their value in the organisation of the University. The value being in the short term, in case of lecture rooms being too crowded in accordance to Covid-19 regulations, as well as in the long term, in cases of courses that are repeatedly, and unnecessarily, planned in large classrooms.’

The Faculty Council encouraged the colleagues of the Services Department to share the results of the privacy audit widely.
 

Classroom scanners switched off

The Executive Board has decided that the classroom scanners (people counters) installed by Leiden University during the coronavirus period at the entrance to buildings and teaching rooms to count how many people are present in an area will be switched off until further notice. Read more

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