I am an academic at a large university. I have been asked to produce some videos to be used in an online component of a departmental service course. This is a course I am currently teaching, and the videos are meant to be used in future iterations of the course (which I will probably not be teaching) to reduce the number of weekly lecture hours.
I don't have a strong opinion either way about whether this plan is good for the course, but I do not want to appear in the videos for reasons of personal privacy. I am a very private person, and I have always tried to keep a light online footprint with minimal social media activity. The idea of hundreds or thousands of students whom I don't know watching videos of me for years to come makes me very uncomfortable.
It has been pointed out to me that the university already records lectures, and that the videos that I'm now being asked to make are if anything better since they will help me produce them in a recording studio and I can do multiple takes. This is a fair point, though I am also not so happy with the current lecture recordings (it may be technically possible to opt out but is not practically possible since students would complain). But I still think the videos I'm now being asked to record are more invasive of my privacy. The lecture recordings only capture audio and the projector/document camera, and are only accessible by the students in the course I teach. The videos I'm being asked to produce will show my face and be uploaded to the university youtube channel, and remain as a central component of a large course for years.
I realize that it's always been the case that certain careers require being recorded (politician, actor, professional athlete, news anchor, journalist), but I didn't think of academia as being one of them. To what extent are academics public figures / performers that should be required to make recordings of themselves?
Am I being unreasonable by refusing to appear in these videos?