Pennsylvania School District Sued for Spying on Children

In a story that sounds like a George Orwell novel, the Lower Merion School District is being sued for using laptops to spy on children. The school district gave 1,800 high school students laptops for home usage. A male student was confronted by his teacher for inappropriate behavior at home; behavior which was captured in a picture taken from the laptop webcam.

Neither the students nor their parents realized the webcams on the laptops provided by the school could be activated without their knowledge. The boy’s parents are suing the school for wiretapping children and invading privacy. The school district stated that the picture taking was a security feature that was only supposed to be used if a computer was stolen.

It begs the question who had access to activate the children’s webcams and why were students and parents not aware of this “security feature” included on the laptops going into their homes? Apart from the invasion of privacy issue, is this a wise use of taxpayer’s money? Most students who need internet have access to it at school, local libraries, and often private computers in their homes…without being secretly recorded.