Leiden University stops using smart cameras over privacy concerns
Leiden University will definitely stop using smart cameras on campus after negative advice from the University Council. The cameras raised privacy concerns last year, and risks of violating the privacy of students and employees are too significant to keep using the devices, the University Council said, Omroep West reports.
The university installed the smart cameras as “people counters” during the pandemic to ensure that the coronavirus restrictions were being observed. Leiden University also used the cameras to check whether study space was being used to save energy when a room or building was vacant.
But in December 2021, it turned out that the cameras were not secure enough and may be violating students’ and employees' privacy. The university’s data protection officer investigated and concluded that users could see information about the cameras without logging in, and the encryption protecting passwords on the cameras was outdated.
The University Council looked at the investigation and concluded that the privacy concerns around the cameras were too great. It advised Leiden University to stop using the smart cameras immediately, and the university agreed.