An English university is investigating whether it can analyze students via social media to prevent suicide.
The University of Northumbria (UK) is examining whether data analysis can prevent suicidal tendencies among students.
On the basis of an ‘early alert tool’, it wants to inform the university in time if students are in a crisis, Engadget reports.
‘Students are more interested in social media than in the library’
The university is currently using data analysis to recognize certain patterns.
For example, based on attendance in class and the requested books in the library.
Now it also wants to collect extra data via social media in order to be able to respond even faster.
According to Office for Students, students spend more time on their favorite social apps than in the library.
This makes the online data a lot more relevant.
However, it is not clear how the university intends to provide access to that data.
In a response, Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “monitoring social media among students is a very aggressive way to get data.”
But the university says that the data remains protected.
Students can register for this program on the basis of an opt-in.