School Spies Students Through Their Laptop Cameras

Illustration for article titled School Spies Students Through Their Laptop Cameras

High School students have sued the Lower Merion School District in Philadelphia for spying on them using their laptops' built-in cameras. School administrator activated the webcams remotely and recorded students' activities at home. Way to go, KGB-wannabe assclowns. Updated

The situation was discovered by the Robbins, when their kid was disciplined for "improper behavior in his home." How could that be possible? The Vice Principal showed a photo as the evidence. A photo taken with the school-provided laptop webcam.

Update: Talking to Gizmodo, one of the students at the district says that they suspected this but the school tech support gave excuses. His Early 2008 MacBook's camera light would turn on at random:

Frequently, the green lights next to our iSight webcams will turn on. The school district claims that this is just a glitch. We are all doubting this now.


He can't access the Activity Monitor because he doesn't have enough privileges, but he says the school uses Apple Remote Desktop.

Another student has confirmed this:

I questioned the IT guy about why it was happening he said that it was because people logged out when an application using the camera was on, he also stated that they could in fact go and look through your webcam it would just violate the fifth ammendment and that's why they didn't.

Today, their principal went on loudspeaker and said that all this was "not true."

Sure, Mr. Principal, sure. If the lawsuit accusations are true, I hope they ground these slimy people forever. [Lawsuit via BoingBoing - Thanks Jason!]


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As a student at the school, I can say that we waved our right when we signed the EULA and (rumor has it) that the kid was "popping pills" and waxing his carrot on the webcam.