Internet Privacy @ Branford High

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Internet privacy and security is becoming an increasing concern. For Branford High School students and staff, it may not be as serious as one may think. Photo by Hunter Carden.

By Drew Linehan Privacy is an issue that concerns a lot of people. On the internet, many people have been sharing their thoughts and pictures through social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. With recent controversies, such as the David Petreaus incident, and Instagram selling photographs how can someone be sure that their privacy is secure? For the students at Branford High School, they log into their email, school accounts, and other programs for studies, assignments, and communicating with their teachers. With recent concerns over privacy on the internet, students shouldn't assume that any of their documents, internet history, or emails will remain completely private. “I think that the school should have a right to access people’s accounts,” said Ashvin Pradhan-Shenoy, a junior at Branford High School “as long as they don’t abuse their power and have a serious reason to do it.” The technology department at Branford High School has the ability to access student's email and other accounts, but claim that they have never done so without the expressed consent of students. "The policy of the tech department is to only view email information on BPS accounts at the request of the superintendent. All BPS accounts are owned by the Branford Board of Education and thus open to the local, state, and federal rules and laws that apply,” states Clint Kennedy of the Branford High School Tech Department. According to Kennedy, each accounts internet history is only stored about a year and accounts are permanently deleted after graduation. The technology department has in the past had to access people's accounts though for various reasons. People's accounts can be used for security reasons such as in the extreme cases of cyber bullying. "Yes. We have looked for information on these two websites (Facebook and Twitter), but we do not have any special access to them," states Clint Kennedy. People can never be sure who is viewing what they put on the internet, but for the students at Branford High School, it doesn't look as if Big Brother is going to be knocking down someone's doors any time soon.