The ethics of recording meetings

This blog is mostly about outdoors stuff with a bit of photography but sometimes a news item catches my eye and I feel like commenting on it.

In Scotland recently, there has been some controversy over a college principal who covertly recorded a meeting with the Scottish Minister of Education, Mike Russell and distributed this to colleagues.  When I read this first,  I was shocked that anyone in a responsible position in education should make a recording. There is no excuse for this kind of behaviour. It is completely unethical to make recordings without the subject’s permission and, even worse, to then distribute the recording. What kind of example does this set for students?

The Education Minister said that he had lost confidence in the principal and called on him to resign after he had circulated the recording to colleagues. This has caused controversy because, although the principal resigned,  political opponents of Mike Russell claimed undue political pressure had been applied to force this situation.

It is disgraceful that opposition politicians have tried to make this into a political issue. They do not seem to understand this is a matter of ethics not politics. However, given past history of politicians, I guess ethics normally appears pretty low down on their list of priorities.

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