The central argument of "Mining student data could save lives" by Michael Morris is that data mining of students could be the key preventive solution to stopping acts of violence on campuses. After utilizing data mining after attacks had occurred revealed huge warning signs that led to eventual shootings, universities realized that technology exists that would allow them to study potential warning signs and then take action. The information is already within their access, its just a matter of getting it screened and to then detect what future behaviors may be. While in retrospect this seems like the most ideal solution to preventing campus attacks, it calls a lot of privacy vs. security issues into question. Is it morally and ethically correct to have behavioral surveillance on unknowing students?
This kind of behavioral surveillance occurs on a daily basis;students have been "systematically forfeiting its rights to online privacy over the past several years through the continued and increased use of services on the Internet” (Morris). So if we are content with data mining that only is getting information on us in order to show us more things to spend money on, shouldn't we also be content with data mining that can determine our safety? I agree that data mining can be the key and necessary way to enacting campus safety. A college campus should prioritize the safety of its students, especially considering the large amount of money spent to attend. But before any interception, a thorough analysis of any potential threat should obviously take place. Certain protective measures should be put in place to effectively avoid any chance of a false threat. But since the technology is there and exists to keep more people safe, it certainly should be taken advantage of.