If you’re a parent who happens to be preparing to send your child off to Albion College in Michigan this semester, you’ll want to make sure that they have a charger for their cell phone and that it’s loaded up with the latest hot app that all the cool kids will be using this year. In fact, it’s not just the cool kids. Every student will have the app on their phone because the school is making it mandatory. But rather than some fun new game like Candy Crush, this app is a mobile spying tool that will monitor each student’s location every hour of every day, along with personal health information. And it’s all being done in the name of fighting the novel coronavirus. Don’t you just feel safer already? (Free Beacon)
A Michigan college is requiring students to download a phone application that tracks their location and private health data at all times in an attempt to protect them from the coronavirus.
Albion College, located in Albion, Mich., is one of the first schools in the country to tackle contact tracing. The school is working to create a “COVID-bubble” on campus, and asking students stay within the school’s 4.5-mile perimeter for the entire semester; if a student leaves campus, the app will notify the administration, and the student could be temporarily suspended.
The move comes as universities grapple with how to reopen safely amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Several schools including Harvard University have shut down their campuses entirely, while the University of California system will provide the majority of classes online with a selection of hybrid options.
Some parents and students are already expressing alarm over this new requirement. The father of one female freshman (sorry… freshperson with a cervix) told the Free Beacon that his daughter had been told to sign a form “consenting to specimen collection and lab testing.” Another student complained of being treated like a child who can’t be trusted to follow the rules and demanded to know why wearing masks wasn’t good enough.
Students are forbidden from leaving campus with the app making sure that they don’t. Those who choose to leave the facility anyway will either need to be put into quarantine or find themselves barred from the campus. Repeat offenders will be suspended or ejected. But strangely enough, the prohibition against leaving campus doesn’t apply to professors or other adult members of the staff, including janitors, maintenance workers and all the rest. So they could be bringing the virus back to campus with them on any given day.
But why are people objecting? I thought liberals loved the idea of big government solutions and the micromanagement of people’s lives. Plus, just think of all the other uses such a tracking app could have. If a student is accused of some sort of sexual indiscretion or assault, the staff could quickly determine if the two students were in the same location at the time of the alleged offense. If a noose or some racist graffiti is found on campus, the app could quickly narrow down who had been at that location during the hours when the incident was believed to have taken place. There’s no end of interesting uses this could be put to, right?
Of course, young people tend to be clever when it comes to finding ways around the rules and these days most of them are quite technically savvy. How long do you suppose it will be before most of them have figured out that if they want to go off-campus or get up to some other mischief they can just leave their phones in the dorm rooms? Many of them will probably pick up a burner phone just to use for such occasions and begin building up a new, covert contact list of all their friends. But that’s okay because the school will still have this nifty new tool available to them and all of the data that it collects to boot. What could possibly go wrong?