See Bryn Mawr Health Center Helpfully Emails Students Weight Loss Tips for the full back story.
In short, the university emailed weight loss tips to those students with overweight/obese BMI scores. How do the university know who those students were? Each medical visit at campus health services involved a weight in and then data that was mined and used for those purpose.
Some students who were treated at the Health Center for their weight—including those recovering from an eating disorders like anorexia—also received the email.
“The dishes and cups in the dining hall have become smaller every year,”says a pre- law student who received the “Hoot” email writes. “The encouragement by administration to lose weight has increased. And hall leaders are being told to lessen the number of food-related get togethers.”
This story managed to hit two of my hot spots, involving both fat shaming and privacy invading. Wow.
First, how likely is that to be helpful? Not so much
Second, the students are adults. Did they ask for help?
Third, what about privacy rights? I’m teaching a course on Digital Ethics this semester. See our WordPress site here and our Facebook page here, Sometimes it can be hard to get the 18 year olds riled up at privacy. This is the social media generation after all. But one thing that even they hate is information given for one purpose, used in another.
They enjoyed this older video on privacy and pizza from the ACLU.