BREAKING: New Safety App Triggers Concerns for Student Privacy

On Friday, March 18th, the Office of Communications sent an email to students, employees and faculty about a new feature available for members of Kenyon’s community. The message went largely unnoticed, perhaps the result of the students’ return to campus following a two-week break. The email introduced the encouraged usage of the Rave Guardian app, a software intended to amplify and maintain safety on campus.

The app allows the Kenyon community to alert Campus Safety about personal emergencies and to anonymously notify the office about suspicious or dangerous activity. It’s able to do these things effectively because it requires an individual to share their location services with the app. The app’s utility in personal emergencies and in cases of suspicious activity is not in question, but its implications for student and employee privacy should not be ignored. 

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