Mar 082012
 
 March 8, 2012  U.S., Youth & Schools

Kashmir Hill writes employers and schools demanding social network logins – including  the ACLU Minnesota case I’ve been blogging about since yesterday.  She writes, in part:

 

The Minnesota high school student, at least, has a strong and relatively clear case. If there was no immediate threat posed by the sexy conversation she allegedly conducted with another student, school officials should have sought a warrant to get access to her Facebook account, or at least gotten permission from her parents.

The student athletes, on the other hand, who are forced to friend their coaches probably don’t have much of a legal argument to make. “They get a benefit: free tuition,” says [privacy lawyer Behnam] Dayanim. “In exchange, they have to agree to this monitoring by a coach. If they agreed to that with the school in advance, that’s a legally sound practice.”

I’m no lawyer, but I wonder if other privacy lawyers might disagree with Dayanim. Extracurricular activities are still funded by taxpayer dollars and should be accessible to all students without requiring them to waive their right to privacy.  This not a question of agreeing to random drug testing, where a case could be made to justify the drug testing on the basis of athlete safety or sportsmanship. What’s the legitimate basis for requiring waiving of privacy for student athletes? I don’t see it.

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