In his essay “Mining Student Data Could Save Lives,” Michael Morris urges universities to act upon their unique ability to prevent possible acts of mass violence by screening student’s data footprints. Morris explains that the use of university email addresses and campus wireless networks permits most college IT departments the ability to mine the data of their students, but that restrictions within the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, as well as some administrators’ fears over student privacy, has slowed or prevented the implementation of student data mining for security purposes. Although the implications of universities having control over student internet usage are precarious, Morris argues that most students have already, whether willingly or not, relinquished most control over their online privacy through the use of social media and other websites, and therefore begs the question of whether or not safety on campus is more important than the (according to Morris, somewhat superficial) notion of privacy.

While I understand the potential risks these practices could have to student privacy, I also believe that every student has a right to safety in their place of learning, and anything that can be done to prevent atrocities such as mass shootings on campuses is worth the slightest perceived loss in privacy.