Sunday, February 21, 2010

School district sued over webcam policy

A Pennsylvania school district has been sued in federal court over allegations that school district officials activated laptop computer webcams in students' homes.

Officials with the Lower Merion School District, who activated the cameras 42 times over the past 14 months, claim they only did so to locate lost, stolen or missing computers and that they never used the images to monitor or discipline students.

The lawsuit came about after Harriton High School Vice Principal Linday Matsko informed student Blake Robbins that the school thought he was engaged in improper behavior when a school district official thought a piece of candy sitting near the computer was a pill. Mr. Robbins was accused of selling drugs.

The suit alleges that the school district violated federal wiretap laws and Mr. Robbin's right to privacy.

Our right to privacy is based on the reasonableness of our expectation of privacy in a given circumstance. With remotely activated webcams, electronic toll tags, GPS devices in cell phones and cars, and full body scanners at airports the reasonableness of your expectation becomes less and less.

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