A new reality series airing on BBC Channel 4 used rigged iPhones to monitor all the digital activities of its teen characters, wrote the Columbia Journalism Review on Thursday. The system, referred to as a "digital rig" by the studio that developed it, had feeds monitored by a production team 13 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Secret Life of Students was a four-part documentary series meant to portray the lives of 12 freshmen as they navigated the first four months of college. In addition to filming the students, the production studio, Raw TV, also thought it would be a good idea to track the students' activity on their phones, including Internet search history, Twitter usage, texts, and phone calls.
While the entire program, phone use included, seems to have fallen a little flat, it produced some interesting moments. "Is chlamydia permanent?" one subject searched on her phone after finding out during a phone call, which was also recorded on the rigged phones, that she might have contracted it from another subject .