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Oslo students monitored with surveillance cameras: report

OSLO, May 28 (Xinhua) -- Twelve schools in Norway's capital city Oslo have filmed students with surveillance cameras during school hours, but no one can say what the recordings are used for, newspaper Aftenposten reported Sunday.

According to Tone Tellevik Dahl, Oslo's city councillor and vice mayor for education, strict regulatory framework of Oslo municipality states that camera surveillance can only take place outside school hours.

However, Oslo department of education has found out that 12 Oslo schools have, despite the regulations, monitored their students during school hours. A total of 33 schools have surveillance cameras, Aftenposten wrote.

Dag Hovdhaugen, assistant director of Oslo department of education, could not rule out that the recordings had been used for some cause, but he said that the schools "now comply with the guidelines."

"The recordings have been kept safe and there is nothing that went astray. The schools have guidelines and have handled the camera tools themselves. Thus I can not comment on this in detail," Hovdhaugen said.

"The schools where aberration was detected were contacted and we have ensured that they now use surveillance cameras in accordance with the regulations and do not have camera surveillance during school hours," he said.

According to Aftenposten, the department did not want to provide information on the schools that had violated the regulations, nor said which schools have surveillance cameras today.

"I think it is serious that 12 schools have had camera surveillance during school hours. Many students may have been filmed and we do not know what the recordings have been used for," Bjorn Erik Thon, director of the Norwegian Data Protection Authority, told Aftenposten.

He added that it is good that Oslo municipality had corrected this.

According to Hovdhaugen, the reason why many schools in Oslo have surveillance cameras are problems with theft and vandalism.

"There is a significant expense for us, which also influences teaching process. Cases of burglary will easily cost hundreds of thousands kroner only in damages," he said.

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