School District Spies on Kids @ Home Through Webcams

February 19th, 2010 - 10:07 pm ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

spy Philadelphia, Feb 19 (THAINDIAN NEWS) The Lower Merion School District in the the Philadelphia area could be in a lot of trouble. A federal lawsuit has been filed against this school district after it was discovered that they had sent student home with laptop computers, which had been issued to every student, that had a security feature which allowed the school administrators to turn on the web cams anytime they so chose. They claimed that this feature was in place as a protection to help track lost or stolen laptops, however it was revealed that these administrators were using the computers to spy on the kids, in their own homes!

If not for the slip-up of the assistant principle at Harriton, these administrators may have gotten away with invading the privacy of these families for a long time to come. Reportedly, the assistant principle, Lindy Matsko, told a student (Blake J Robbins) that he knew he had been engaged “in improper behavior in his home and cited as evidence a photograph from the webcam embedded in the minor plaintiff’s personal laptop issued by the school district.” according to the attorney, Mark S. Haltzman, from the firm of Lamm Rubenstone, who has filed a suit against the school.

A few years again, the school district launched a campaign too put laptops in the hands of every high school student in the district. Superintendent Christopher McGinley boasted proudly about getting laptops for every child, saying it “ensures that all students have 24/7 access to school-based resources.” But administrators never told students or their families that district officials had “24/7 access” into their homes at the same time”, according to the lawsuit.

Several students said that they had already noticed the green lights which indicate the cam is working, coming on at odd times when they were not using the computers, and had began to cover the web cam with black tape to avoid this horrific invasion of privacy on the students, as well as their families.

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