February 24, 2010

Harriton High School Students Use Apple MacBooks

Apple Macbook computers are usually promoted as the good guy computers, battling against the corporate Big Brother, Microsoft.

But in a new Federal court case, Apple's Macbooks allegedly became a tool of evil, when they were used by a school district to spy on students when they were on their own time at home.

The school, in a town named Harriton, had given out 2,300 Macbook Pros to all the kids, equipped with special security software that let officials turn on the computer's webcam remotely and track laptops that were stolen or lost.

But when they called in a student and confronted him with a photo of him supposedly taking drugs, parents began to ask whether this security software was being abused to spy on their kids. And the parents of that boy are now going to court to find out once and for all. And by the way the "drug" their son was taking? THey say it was a box of Mike & Ike's.

Harriton High School Students Use Apple MacBooks

The affluent district prides itself on its technology initiatives, which include giving Apple laptops to each of the approximately 2,300 students at its two high schools. "It is no accident that we arrived ahead of the curve; in Lower Merion, our responsibility is to lead," Superintendent Christopher W. McGinley wrote on the district website. McGinley did not immediately return messages left Thursday by The Associated Press. The Robbinses said they learned of the alleged webcam images when Lindy Matsko, an assistant principal at Harriton High School, told their son Blake that school officials thought he had engaged in improper behavior at home. The behavior was not specified in the suit.

Harriton High School Students Use Apple MacBooks

Posted at February 24, 2010 5:34 AM