The Privacy and Equity Implications of Using Self-Harm Monitoring Technologies
Self-harm monitoring systems are computerized programs that can monitor students’ online activity on school-issued devices, school networks, and school accounts to identify whether students are at risk of dangerous mental health crises.
These monitoring systems identify individual students by processing and collecting personal information from their online activities and sending alerts about individual students and their flagged content to school officials. In some cases, these systems or school policies facilitate sharing this information with parents or third parties, such as law enforcement agencies.
Despite their increased use, self-harm monitoring systems are an unproven technique for effectively identifying and assisting students who may be considering self-harm simply based on their online activities.