At the start of a class, roll calls are usually taken to track who is in attendance at the class. This is important as a student that frequently skips classes might be required to drop the class, or could be a cause for concern for teachers. This is typically done manually where teachers mark down attendance on a sheet of paper.

However, the University of Missouri has recently come under fire for tracking student attendance using an app. This app, which was previously only used for athletes at the school, has since expanded to cover all students, where apparently it is mandatory for all students to install the app on their phones.

Following the report from the Kansas City Star, the university has issued a statement claiming that participation in the use of the app is completely optional. “The University of Missouri is conducting a pilot of the SpotterEDU app with approximately 20 courses this semester. Participation in the pilot, offered to fewer than 2% of MU students, is completely optional. If a student does not want to use the app to track their attendance, they will be required to check in with their professor through an alternate method, such as signing an attendance sheet.”

The university also pointed out that the app uses Bluetooth instead of GPS, meaning that it’s not as if they will be able to track the students’ whereabouts even after they leave campus. However, as some have pointed out, this is a slippery slope and raises some privacy concerns.

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