February 24, 2010

Lower Merion School District Accused of Webcam Spying

A boy in the Lower Merion School District, and his parents, are accusing the district of spying on kids while they are at home, using the webcam on kids' laptops.

The computers, macbook pros, were given out to over 2,000 students as part of a program to prepare kids for a computer and digital driven world, and each laptop was equipped with special security software that let school staff turn on the computer's webcam remotely, a feature intended to be used only if the laptop was reported lost or stolen.

But according to a Federal lawsuit now filed by the parents of Blake Robbins, the feature was used illegally to spy on their son while he was at home, leading to an accusation that the boy was taking drugs based on a photo taken by his webcam, when he was at home.

The parents report that the supposed drugs were actually Mike & Ike's candy, and that the school invaded their family's privacy unethically by watching him or taking his picture through the Apple computer webcam while he was at home, without his knowledge.

Lower Merion School District Accused of Webcam Spying

Superintendent Christopher McGinley, whose Lower Merion School District was accused in a federal lawsuit last week of spying on students in their homes, faced about 75 district residents tonight and said little about the controversy. The superintendent had no choice; he is barred by a court order, filed Monday, from talking about the allegations, unless he first clears his statements with attorneys for 15-year-old Blake Robbins and his family. So he had nothing of substance to say about the lawsuit over district-issued laptop computers at the meeting at Narberth Borough Hall.

Lower Merion School District Accused of Webcam Spying

Posted at February 24, 2010 6:15 AM