School Spies on Students at Home

laptopwebcamAfter school officials reprimanded a for being “engaged in improper behavior in his home, and cited as evidence a photograph from the Web cam embedded in [his] personal laptop issued by the School District”, Blake Robbins and his family have filed a lawsuit against the school for the invasion of the student’s privacy at home.

The basis for this action is due to the fact that the laptop does in fact belong to the Lower Merion School District, a school system that lets its students borrow their laptops and take them home with them. To make sure the students are not doing anything wrong while at school, the school has the ability to remotely capture images using the webcam at any time, without the knowledge or consent of the user. But using this against students when they are at home is a huge invasion of privacy and a violation of various computer fraud and privacy laws.

“As the laptops at issue were routinely used by students and family members while at home, it is believed and therefore averred that many of the images captured and intercepted may consist of images of minors and their parents or friends in compromising or embarrassing positions, including, but not limited to, various stages of dress or undress,” the complaint says.

As of right now, the “improper behavior” of the student is unknown, but the huge concern is that the school has been spying on its students when they were in the privacy of their own homes and had total access to everything the students were doing. The case hasn’t yet been resolved, but I’m guessing that the family of the student will win and this “spying feature” will be taken off the laptops all together or at the very least limited only to when the students are in school.

(Via InformationWeek)

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