School Gives Kids Laptops, Spies on Them Via Webcam
Lawsuit slams HS for watching kids at home
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Feb 18, 2010 7:45 AM CST
The school used a webcam built into the students' laptops to spy on them.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A well-heeled Philadelphia school district gave out laptops to students—then used the webcams attached to covertly spy on them, both at school and at home, according to a class-action lawsuit. The case, Blake J. Robbins v. Lower Merion School District, was filed after one of the school’s vice principals disciplined Robbins’ son for “improper behavior in his home,” using a photo taken from the camera as evidence, according to the filing.

The laptops were issued to 1,800 students at three high schools in the district, each with a built-in webcam that, according to the lawsuit, administrators can activate remotely and covertly. The suit is a class action, brought on behalf of all the students and their parents. They’re seeking damages for invasion of privacy, theft of private information, and unlawful interception and access of electronic information.

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RWT711
Feb 21, 2010 5:42 PM CST
you know... in this same scenario... if the laptop were on a hard wired network the administrator could also turn the power of the laptop on whenever he/she wanted to "do maintenance" giving them the freedom to turn on the webcam whenever they wanted and not just when the student was logged in. This is very disturbing..
Michael P Adams
Feb 20, 2010 7:13 PM CST
The article says, "administrators can activate remotely and covertly." .This infers that the indicator light may have been disabled. It does not sound like the activation was truly to find misplaced laptops. And yes it is a "lawsuit" with criminal ramifications. What a boy does in the privacy of his room in his home is between him and his parents and not the school vice principle.