New York Business Lawyers

Class Action Lawsuit Alleges School is Watching Kids Through Mac Book Webcam

by / Thursday, 18 February 2010 / Published in Industry News, Technology & eCommerce

The 21st century childhood has just a taken a turn into Orwellian weird-ville. A complaint filed as a class action suit against the Lower Merion school district of Pennsylvania for “unauthorized, inappropriate and indiscriminate remote activation” of webcams in laptops issued to students, without knowledge and/or consent(one should be wary of free goods, especially when they are shiny MacBooks on the school’s dime).

As truly bad SyFy channel original movie absurd as this seems, the allegations state that Assistant Principle Lindy Mastko of Harriton High School informed a student that he was “engaged in improper behavior in his home.” It even goes further to allege that Mastko told both the child and the child’s father that the school district could remotely activate the MacBook webcam and that such capability was being employed. Why or for what “official” purpose the district would do this is beyond me. Hence, I find the claim deeply dubious, but fiction tends to play it straight, while truth tends to find its way to wonky all too often. Secondly, the answer has not been submitted, so this is only at the allegation stage.

I am curious as to how this will impact or shape the school privacy debate as technology further complicates and blurs boundaries between schoolyards and backyards. A PDF of the complaint available here.

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