Colleges and universities have been entrusted with the safety, security and privacy of the young people they serve, as well as with protecting their employees, brand, intellectual property and funding. In any large group, you are sure to encounter some bad apples. Add to that the fact that young people, living more and more in a digitally connected world, are often unaware of the consequences of their indiscretions, malicious or not.
As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, the financial regulators are expected to issue requirements for banking institutions to monitor social media as a means to protect their customers, employees and ultimately their brands. We’re seeing more and more, however, that the use cases for monitoring are growing.
The need for a school to be aware of the activities of its students, particularly on campus, is growing and become more and more apparent. In the aftermath of some of the violent tragedies we’ve witnessed on campuses in recent years, schools have made great use of social media as a means of communicating safety issues to their students. Being able to identify a troubled student ahead of time just makes sense.
A couple of weeks ago, some disturbing Facebook posts by members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at Florida International University were published, in which the members advertised drug sales and published non-consensual nude photos of female students. (We’ve opted not to link to the stories themselves, as some may be offended by the images and language, but they can be found easily enough through a simple web search. -ed)
The chapter has since been suspended as the University and law enforcement investigate.
I can only imagine that in hindsight, UIF faculty and staff would have been grateful for the opportunity to know about the illegal actions of their students as soon as possible…particularly sooner than the media.