Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Help - there are videos of our students on Youtube!

A number of schools have discovered parents busily uploading their memories of children's sports days and school performances up onto the video sharing site: youtube.com. Such videos containing other students can be cause for concern, both to the school and to other parents.

What can be done now that it has happened?

Firstly the school unfortunately has little right of recourse with youtube if you want to remove footage of school events that includes your students, unless the footage for some other reason breaks youtube's Community Guidelines.

However, the students are data subjects, and under the data protection act youtube will remove footage of identifiable children upon their parent's request. On the youtube site there is a Privacy Complaint Report that parents of other children in the footage can use to get videos removed.

How can I prevent the situation from occuring in my school?

Your school policy could outline that footage of school events can be used for personal memories, but must not published onto any public area of the internet, including social networking sites. A reminder of this policy can be put at the bottom of programmes for events. (If you are particularly concerned you could ban parents from using cameras completely but this might be detrimental to parents enjoying and celebrating their child's achievements.)

As with many eSafety concerns the easiest way to remove any content from the internet is always to ask the person who uploaded it to delete it. They will often comply when they realise that it breaches your own safeguarding rules. Most schools ask permission from parents on an annual basis before using their children's images on publicity, prospectuses or any other public material. Given that you have taken care with their child's privacy, most parents will agree to show similar care.

Alex Rees

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