Date
27 March 2017
A CCTV camera has been installed inside the children's toilet of a kindergarten in Whampoa Garden in Hung Hom. Photos: Apple Daily
A CCTV camera has been installed inside the children's toilet of a kindergarten in Whampoa Garden in Hung Hom. Photos: Apple Daily

CCTV inside kindergarten toilet fuels privacy concerns

A kindergarten operated by the Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children (HKSPC) was found to have installed a CCTV camera inside a children’s toilet, prompting worries among parents that the privacy of their children could be infringed, Apple Daily reported Wednesday.

The HKSPC kindergarten, located at Whampoa Garden in Hung Hom, reportedly informed parents late last year that CCTV cameras would be installed inside the campus for security, but did not specify where they would be located.

Parents later noticed that a camera was installed inside the children’s toilet.

School administrators explained that the same measure had been implemented across the 17 kindergartens under HKSPC, but some parents insisted there was no reason to monitor the children using the toilet.

Apple Daily reporters found a total of 15 cameras were installed around the 2,000 square foot campus during the school’s open day last month.

An HKSPC spokesperson said the cameras were installed and being used purely as a security measure, adding that the guidelines issued by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) are being strictly followed.

The cameras only cover areas of student activities and scenes of children going to the toilet will not be captured.

When reporters sought an explanation for the camera inside the children’s toilet, the spokesperson said the camera would only record the area where children line up and wash their hands.

An official of the End Child Sexual Abuse Foundation said she has never heard of kindergartens installing CCTV cameras inside washrooms, and said such a measure is unnecessary for security.

The Education Bureau said it has no record of CCTV camera installations in schools and there are no relevant guidelines as CCTV is not a standard equipment.

The bureau said schools should decide for themselves how to deal with practical matters and ensure that their actions are compliant with the law.

– Contact us at [email protected]

EL/AC/CG

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe