Saturday, February 20, 2010

Oh (Big) Brother

I've been holding off on this story until more details came out, but it appears to be true that a school system in PA was spying on students via the built-in webcam on their school issued laptops. The feature is said to have been activated 42 times this year, allegedly in response to reports they were lost or missing. However, the lawsuit here was filed after a vice principal confronted a student with a photo taken of him at home via the laptop.

According to the complaint, nobody reported that computer missing and some students admit covering the lens with post-it notes when they notice the activation light came on for the webcam. In the instant case, the kid says he was "eating Mike & Ike candy in his home, but that school officials thought it showed him using drugs." Of course, the real issue is why is the school monitoring what any kid does off campus?

Also, according to the earlier reports, some parents are concerned the school officials were watching students undress, among "other compromising situations." The whole scheme is just chilling. No wonder kids don't respect authority anymore.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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Blogger Ruth said...

There's panty-sniffer Ken Starr potential in that school system's officials.

10:11:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I really hope somebody goes down at that school for this. It looks like a clear abuse of the security feature to me.

12:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Brother HL-2140 toner said...

This amazing article alone explains the "What ifs" that plague this technology. To me this an extreme invasion of privacy, and there should be no involvement of the school, in any students personal life. In such cases as abuse, the schools are required to contact social services, and if the computer is their "excuse" for monitoring "their property" they can charge a small "deposit" fee for students to be able to get one. Every electronic device these days is equipped with GPS, and when stolen, can be located as soon as it is turned on. This is extremely invasive, and I don't believe that all 42 uses of this software has been lawful.

12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

With a good lawyer, that kid could own the school and have the principal mowing lawns for a living.

If it were my kid, it would have happened already.

What an outrage!

2:26:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...


12:17:00 PM  

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