India to install classroom cameras, Asia surveillance measures rising

INDIA – India’s capital territory Delhi will install surveillance cameras in all of its classrooms after a spate of violent incidents, a decision that comes as increased surveillance measures sweep across Asia.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said surveillance cameras would be installed in all government schools in the next three months, BBC reported.

Parents would be able to see the classroom footage streamed to their phone in real time.

Kejriwal said in a tweet last week that he believed surveillance in schools would make the “whole system transparent and accountable.”

Kejriwal said security measures were also put in place to ensure kid’s safety, as India has dealt with several high-profile violent crimes within its school systems.

In September, Delhi police arrested a school security guard for allegedly raping a five-year-old girl inside a classroom. Days later, a seven-year-old boy in a school in a nearby province was found dead.

Several schools in Kolkata have also adopted technology this month that allows parents to track their children’s whereabouts using radio frequency ID tags.

Government members have also proposed adding CCTV cameras to hospitals to monitor activity.

Critics have called India’s increased surveillance measures “dystopian” and have said that the CCTV programs in schools facilitate the creation of a “surveillance state” in India.

Surveillance in Asia is growing

Surveillance systems are becoming more prevalent in Asia.

In 2004, radio frequency surveillance measures were introduced in Osaka, Japan to track student’s locations. Dubai recently begun using the same technology to notify parents when children get on and off school buses, according to the Economist.

In China, surveillance systems are even more integrated into daily life.

In Liaoning, a parent recently made waves on social media after posting footage from surveillance cameras installed throughout his son’s school.

A major surveillance livestreaming platform called Qihoo 360 shut down last month after people voiced privacy concerns. The streaming program allowed people to stream footage from cameras in several public locations, like classrooms, restaurants, and swimming pools.

Xinjiang in northwest China reportedly began testing facial-recognition surveillance systems last week. The program alerts authorities when certain people on a watch list wander from their home or workplace.

Xinjiang also began collecting its citizens’ DNA and iris scans for a biometric database and introduced compulsory GPS tracking systems for all the region’s vehicles.