High school uses notebook webcams to spy on students

By on February 19, 2010, 1:31 PM
The parents of a Lower Merion high school student have filed suit against the district for using school-issued laptops to spy on kids. The school rigged notebooks with software that lets officials remotely view and capture images with the built-in camera -- a mechanism that was supposedly greatly misused. The plaintiff's child claims to have been disciplined in school for "improper behavior" at home, and the Vice Principal used a photo taken by the webcam as evidence.

In a statement yesterday, Superintendant Dr. Christopher McGinley confirmed that the laptops indeed have a "security feature" to track missing systems. The "feature" can take a "still image of the operator and the operator's screen," but McGinley said it has been deactivated, and will not be reactivated without express written notification. He also insisted that the feature has only been used to locate lost, stolen or missing laptops.

Students involved in the suit have contacted Gizmodo with details about the situation. It's said that the green lights next to the kids' laptops often turns on, suggesting it's in use, but the district claims it's just a glitch. One student questioned a school IT guy about the light, who said it was occurring because "people logged out when an application using the camera was on." The employee also admitted that the school could in fact look through the webcam, but it would violate law.

You can read more about the Robbins v. Lower Merion School District suit via this PDF.




User Comments: 51

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mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

Eeven if it is against the law, I think that if a notebook is SCHOOL ISSUED, then even if the student is at home, administrators should be allowed to access anything on the machine for appropriate reasons. I also believe if the misbehavior is being conducted with the assistance of the school issued machine, then the school district should not be at fault. For example, if he was going to inappropriate sites on the school machine, even if he is at home then the camera should be allowed to be used for user verification. However if set up properly the school firewall should still filter his traffic. Also if the student was misbehaving and using the notebook to record the activity, then the student should be at fault. If however, the student's activity had nothing to do with said notebook, and the camera was activated by an administartor, then the activity should not be reported. Because then the camera is being used like a surveillance camera, which I certainly disagree with.

Punkid said:

wow thats not nice :P

Guest said:

i don't care how you dress it up, remotely activating a camera on a students laptop without notification is spying and no doubt legally dubious.

Punkid said:

yea i wouldnt want someone to activate my camera while im doing something private :S

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Hmmm...not sure I entirely agree with your argument mattfrompa. Agreed that if you're issued a school laptop, then usage should be certainly restricted to school-type activities and work. But that's easily done with filters and permission settings.

But to just randomly turn on the web camera without the user's knowledge, scan the room and see what's going on? That ain't right... They could remote in and see what apps are currently being used if they are concerned with usage. Lighting up the camera puts their monitoring into a whole different category.

Guest said:

this is a bunch of bull - while he may have gotten off the hot seat with some folks -- how many in the IT industry thinks this a bunch of hooey?

What good does just taking snapshot of the "theif" do - that isn't going to tell you WHERE the notebook is - just who happens to be in front of it at the present time.

and if the notebook was indeed stolen - why would the IT dept have anything to do with the investigation and arrest of the perpetrator? I think that would be Law enforcement.

We purchased tracking/theft on some of our notebooks - but it has nothing to do with the webcam.

They might pull the wool over someones eyes, but not mine.

Someone needs to get this board and "nail" them to the wall

Guest said:

You've got to be kidding me mattfrompa! Schools are now above the law??? WHAT?????

The fact that school administrator even has the ability to "spy" on a student outside of school property for whatever reason is totally out of bounds. Way outta bounds! Like, way out of the Privacy Act of 1974- bounds. This is unlawful search and seizure and violates the right to privacy per-se.

Let me try and follow your logic here matformpa: The school issues the laptop, the student a minor by the way, uses the laptop at his home, for what is deemed by some public school "official" as inappropriate behavior (whatever that means) and the kid is suspended. Hell the FBI can't even do this legally without a warrant unless it falls under the the DOJ exceptions which it does not. When the school gives you a laptop that was purchased by the way with our tax dollars, the really aren't giving you anything, more like leasing it to you for nothing. You sign an agreement and send in an insurance deposit -at least that is how it is done with my sons program. No camera program to spy on my kid thank you. In or outta of school I am the parent and that is where the buck stops. This is wrong, wrong, wrong to have the ability to spy on a kid, my kid maybe- in my home, after school. Looks like we will be keeping the lap top in the closet when it is home from school.

Guest said:

mattfrompa probably works for the school, lol.

Timonius Timonius said:

Hmmm... a simple piece of tape over the camera should do just fine. Why do people make such issues out things that have a simple solution (privacy issues being another matter altogether).

Guest said:

whether or not im a student or anyone else for that matter (parents might be looking at the notebook to check on their students work) I should not have to "tape" over a device that has completely ligitimate (and legal) uses to be sure I'm not being spied on.

I hope this little gaff costs the school system a fortune and that someone looses their job over this. No matter how acceptable they try to spin this, no one without a search warrant should have the authority to approve this.

If the webcam was actually used to capture something that the school district felt "improper" - that goes way above and beyond what would be appropriate monitoring. If they want to filter, take screen shots unannounced and present those screen shots to the parents - that's another story - but the webcam - off limits.

Guest said:

To add to my previous post - what if the parents where looking at the kid's notebook in various stages of undress? Should you now post that the parents need to be fully clothed inside their own house before looking at the notebook? Go ahead and try that one on.

If i was a parent of these kids - i would be incensed over this possibility.

Guest said:

"For example, if he was going to inappropriate sites on the school machine, even if he is at home then the camera should be allowed to be used for user verification."

Did you even think before you typed that? If someone is looking at porn, that is not the time to video them. ;)

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

mattfrompa said:

Even if it is against the law, I think that if a notebook is SCHOOL ISSUED, then even if the student is at home, administrators should be allowed to access anything on the machine for appropriate reasons...

I vehemently disagree. This is a school issued laptop, to highschool aged kids. If the laptop has not been reported stolen, there is absolutely no reason to turn this function on. An IT administrator can easily tell if the laptop has been used inappropriately and revoke priveledges to the student without the need of a built in webcam for user verification.

Here's a scenario for you - Kid comes home from school, begins doing homework online but is going out later on, so he/she takes a shower. The school administrator randomly turns the camera on for user verification just as the student is exiting the shower. Meanwhile there's an IT administrator (who may or may not be a pervert) at the school secretly watching the student traipse around their room naked. Something about this scenario disturbs me. Students NEVER do their homework right after school.

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

Heard about this from a different source... def. invasion of privacy if you ask me.

Just another reason why laptops in a high school setting are a HUGE waste of money.

Guest said:

Problem: School spying on you using Web cam on school issued Lap top.

Solution: Duct Tape

And if they get in a tizzy about not being able to "verify" the user because there was tape over then lens, then you know that they were trying to spy on you and that they also cannot prove that it was you using the computer at the time they took control of the web cam.

satty said:

if i was one of them(students) i will cover the cam with some chewing gum or plaster

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Yeah see, I don't see this as a big thing, its school propertie so they can do what ever they want with it. They should send a letter round the parents and warn them of what they can do with the laptop, If the parents don't like it or the student then don't use it! Go buy your own laptop and stop crying.

davimous said:

Funny true story. My girlfriend has a piece of tape over her laptops webcam in fear of a hacker activating/viewing it. As a young male my self I would have to fight the urge to stick my privates right in front of the webcam for the principal to see.

Guest said:

The bad behavior of the kid who got his picture taken at home...was reported to the parents as 'pill popping". The kid was eating Mike & Ike candies and the school admin thought it was pills. LOL too funny. Think about this tho., If the FBI can activate you cell phone mic even when the phone is turned off then im sure someone can do the same to the laptop mic or cam., (goto youtube and search if your not familiar with that)

The blood sucking lawyers are talking class action suit now. They are swarming because this is an easy meal for them. In class action suits the lawyers get the most.

Guest said:

Not only did the school violate probably a state law they have violated at least one if not more federal laws concerning wiretapping, eavesdropping, a use of video surveillance without posting signs on the laptop itself and in any room the school has these computers. Whoever installed this feature and anyone who activated it may be on their way to Leavenworth or some other federal prision, if some smart parents file civil rights case or calls the FBI to report illegal wiretapping/surveillance. Remember folks video surveillance is not allowed IF A PERSON HAS THE EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY, ie. You cannot be surveilled in your house if you have curtains pulled or no reasonable person could see you from street, now if you are dancing naked in front of the picture window, you have given up that expectation of privacy. If you are conducting an illegal activity say on a public street or using an open type pay phone, big brother can record your voice or video tape you all they want. Just as if a person wants to wander a public beach and photograph/video people they can shoot all they want, the people are in a public area and give up the right to expectation of privacy, but within reason. That is why paparazzi photographers can be right up against celbs on the street, public street public place.

you can use video with microphone IF YOU POST A VISIBLE WARNING TO PEOPLE ENTERING PREMISES THAT VIDEO AND AUDIO MONITORING ARE IN USE! No visible warning somebody is gonna be a cell mate to bubba!!

bada bing bada boom

foreverzero89 said:

if any of you can't see how such a huge deal this is, then please go kill yourself now and rid the world of your stupidity.

this is just so wrong on so many levels, the school should only be able to monitor the laptop when two conditions are met: during school hours and while on campus, other than that turn off your damned spy cam. this is such an invasion and anyone who has fallen victim should feel violated.

i hope these parents take the school for all they've got, get the people who's idea this was fired and anyone along the way who didn't question if what they were doing is right.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

In response to several users, I admittedly do work for A school district, however I want to be clear in stating I have nothing to due with the district in question. Firstly, I must say I DO NOT agree with randomly utilizing a laptop's camera to simply "check in". The only time it should even be considered is when an administrator is inspecting logs, and finds something suspicious. I didn't see anything addressing the time in the pdf, but I know I don't even examine logs off the clock, so I would not even have the opportunity to attempt such acts. The district I work at also does not issue student laptops to take home (partially due to lack of funding, but more so due to the degree of mistreatment even on school grounds.) The students and faculty understand their activity is monitored, yet the amount of misuse of school property (yes, a portion of your tax dollars goes to it, but it also goes to governmental property which you don't have ownership of either. Your return on investment is the service performed.) I must state that in the process of of issuing punishment, certainly the first step should simply be observing the student's desktop, but only if the activity appears to still be in progress. Then the only reason I meant to say that the camera should be used is for user identification. Sure, the student should be logging into their own account with a strong password, but what I don't want is for an account to be compromised and the student be held responsible if it can be avoided. In most cases though it seems to me that administrators would be finding the activity "after the fact" anyways. I think those who believe the administrators should be fired immediately are being far too intolerant. I am not quick for anyone to lose their job, particularly when someone has a home and family to think about. This is a situation which requires an in depth, logical, unbiased analysis. If you were able to formulate your opinion in under a minute, I don't believe you have given the situation enough rational thought. I know I am personally not 100% firm on my viewpoint, but please do not expect to change my views with any kind of insults, or that you can really slam your gavel the same day you heard about this. (I know, this does not apply to everyone) I would not even attempt to do anything similar at work. I work within what I already know is permissible, because I understand that even with the best intentions, law is law.

Guest said:

There is keylogging software that can be remotely accessed to see if it is being abused. There is NO reason good enough for secret remote users accessing the webcam on a child's laptop. You tread on very thin ice if you think it's justifiable in ANY way. Think about it really hard.

Guest said:

This seems to be the way America is going. Everybody is a cop. Now Google is partnering up with the NSA and you can't seem to get them out of your PC. We pushed the Pigs back in the 60's but the Sow is in heat again. Be afraid people, Very Afraid.

Guest said:

If the school district captured children naked via the web cams, can anyone say child pornography?

Guest said:

Quite honestly, if my computer's camera light turn on i would get a bit freaked out and tape something over it.

0n1n3 said:

That is absurd. I don't care how you dress it up logically, that is an invasion of privacy and no teacher has that level of control over a student or child for any reason. I don't care if you think the kid is a suspected terrorist. Teachers are not cops and do not follow the same rules as the government. That person should be fired and this incident should be permanently marked on their record. Teachers are, after all, paid by taxes. Thus they too can be fired since they answer to the people, and the people do not answer to them. They were never in their lives given such authority over children.

And since there was no disclaimer stating that they would use the PCs for this reason when they were "given" to the children, then if those were my kids I would press charges for the fullest extent the law would allow me.

But I digress, I would not put my children, if I indeed had any children, in public schooling. They would be privately schooled or home schooled, and this is the reason why.

Those laptops should be seized.

foreverzero89 said:

Guest said:

Quite honestly, if my computer's camera light turn on i would get a bit freaked out and tape something over it.

maybe they just don't notice the light. not like its super bright, especially wen you are concentrating on something.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

oow dear people... oow dear. I'm reading all these comments and some of them are just ridiculous!

foreverzero89 said:

if any of you can't see how such a huge deal this is, then please go kill yourself now and rid the world of your stupidity.

Dude! shut up! you are very narrow minded. We deal with things a lot worse than this everyday! fair enough I don't read much about stories like this but I just don't think a school would do this without any warning to the child or parents.

0n1n3 said:

And since there was no disclaimer stating that they would use the PCs for this reason when they were "given" to the children, then if those were my kids I would press charges for the fullest extent the law would allow me.

But I digress, I would not put my children, if I indeed had any children, in public schooling. They would be privately schooled or home schooled, and this is the reason why.

Those laptops should be seized.

Ha ha! this one made me chuckle! No Offence, but CALM DOWN LOVE! jesus! anyway you may have a valid point in saying that they were "given no disclaimer" but again I highly doubt this. If so then no one should be sued no one should lose a job. Instead the school should just be forced to take the software off?

I work for an IT services company here in Britain and I get a thing called logmein! which if you don't know means I can remote control any computer I want with the user knowing. But you would not believe the things I have seen on some users computers! which if I wanted could easily download to my machine.

But I don't, do you know why? because it has nothing to do with me! I am there to fix the issue not to look at naked pictures of the user or their ilegal Child porn collection.

In this particular instance this admin should have only used the camera to make sure it was being used by the correct user and thats it! shouldn't have reported that the user was taking "Pills" which were actually sweets.

At the end of the day the admin f*cked up and won't do it again. Period! Its school property laptops therefore the school can do anything with them anyway.

foreverzero89 said:

but it did happen, and what are the "worse" things "we" deal with everyday?

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Well we deal with terrorists, bombings, killers, rapists, child abusers... the list is endless! so why make such a big deal out of this? no one got hurt, no one got vialated in any major or even minor way. Its totally irrational to just want to sue a school which was paid from your taxes anyway because they where concerned that one of there pupils may have been taking some kind of pill?

Can you not see that it was stupid and a mistake but the whole situation is being treated by everyone who reads this story, worse than a killing down your local high street?!

Fair enough maybe the school shouldn't be able to just blindly switch the camera on but at least its for fair reasons. They're not good enough reasons but at least they mean't well.

I just think its a bit unfair that your looking at this as a proper major thing yet i bet if someone was killed within 10 miles of your house wouldn't be as concerned as you are with this stupid mistake by a school admin?!

(and yes the last bit was aimed at foreverzero89)

foreverzero89 said:

if your friend lent you a laptop then used it to spy on you in your own home would you be friend with them any more? no you wouldn't. there were many violations here here: of trust, of the law, and of basic human decency. if stuff like this is allowed to happen at schools, a place where trust is BIG, then where does it stop? this cannot be allowed to continue.

using "terrorists" as an excuse to violate my, and anyone else, rights is a weak argument at best. this can also be as form of child abuse as well. anyone that is allowed to take candid pictures of minors in their bedrooms should be in jail.

if your 15 year-old son or daughter was "caught" by the school district doing something in her room would you be furious? yes, you would. maybe you should think about that before you try to defend what is going on here.

this can very well lead to something bigger than just the school board being peeping toms.

Guest said:

Matt and to all who are missing the point alltogether... Because the School provided the laptop - it is ok??

Who do think provided the gym showers and bathrooms, why not a place a pinhole camera there?? After all it is school property?

C'mon people - wake up!

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

foreverzero89 said:

if your friend lent you a laptop then used it to spy on you in your own home would you be friend with them any more? no you wouldn't. there were many violations here here: of trust, of the law, and of basic human decency. if stuff like this is allowed to happen at schools, a place where trust is BIG, then where does it stop? this cannot be allowed to continue.

using "terrorists" as an excuse to violate my, and anyone else, rights is a weak argument at best. this can also be as form of child abuse as well. anyone that is allowed to take candid pictures of minors in their bedrooms should be in jail.

if your 15 year-old son or daughter was "caught" by the school district doing something in her room would you be furious? yes, you would. maybe you should think about that before you try to defend what is going on here.

this can very well lead to something bigger than just the school board being peeping toms.

If a friend "gave" me a laptop I would expect them to do something as stupid (and funny) as install a piece of software thats activates the camera! But I wouldn't stop being friends with them!? your taking this way to far.

I have never trusted a school, ever. Who does? I trust they'll teach me to write talk and learn maths and science but I would never actually trust them with my records or giving me a laptop? I would never trust a computer that was given to me. Only a computer I have brought, rebuilt and secured my own way would I trust.

When ever I'm at work and logon to someones machine I take every step possible to make sure i'm not going to get a virus on my machine or anything like that from this other machine because its not trusted. And it stops when the admin does actually have pictures of users naked hidden in a folder on the network or has a background of being a peado or been in jail before. then it should be taken seriously and delt with in a harsh manner.

But the admin is not a perv or anything like that. Its unfair to treat him like one.

"if your 15 year-old son or daughter was "caught" by the school district doing something in her room would you be furious? yes, you would." - again how do you know I would be? all depends on the situation. If it was a dodgy school with low funding then they won't be giving laptops to pupils. A decent school with funding to do such a thing like give pupils laptops to use then I wouldn't go mad as a first reaction like you have. I would ask how they know and how they found there information and aquired the picture. I would then ask for a full investigation on the IT team at the school to make sure they are not doing aything other than monitoring to check its the right user. I would then do nothing more if my findings were Adequate and I was satisfied that they really were just making sure that the laptop had not been stolen and were concerned about my son/daughters well being when they thought it was pills. I would be happy about it but I wouldn't be as annoyed as you appear to be.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Please note I meant I wouldn't be happy about it.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Just been reading more into this and again they did break some rules so I can see why the parents are angry but I think they are reacting a little too harshly to the whole situation. as what the school has stated. It was only a security system thats only activated if the laptop is reported lost stolen or missing.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8523807.stm

xempler said:

This is so wrong it boggles the mind especially since it involves children. At the very least parents should of been notified of this before it was issued to the kids.

And I have no idea what a spycam on a laptop has to do with locating it if it was missing or stolen. You would install a GPS chip in it for that...so that excuse is bull.

This school board is run by morons in my opinion and deserved to be sued. I would be mad as hell if this happened to me.

AtK SpAdE AtK SpAdE, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I think alot of people are missing the point.

Why is a public school district issuing laptop for high school use? We have school that are firing teachers and cutting activities and yet this school district is giving students macbooks. Spying is wrong, but why is no one upset about that?

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

There is keylogging software that can be remotely accessed to see if it is being abused. There is NO reason good enough for secret remote users accessing the webcam on a child's laptop. You tread on very thin ice if you think it's justifiable in ANY way. Think about it really hard.

I agree with you 100%. The only reason software such as this was created is so companies or individuals could track their laptop if it is stolen. There is no reason whatsoever, if the laptop hasn't been reported stolen, for a school administrator to activate it.

The only time it should even be considered is when an administrator is inspecting logs, and finds something suspicious...

In this particular instance this admin should have only used the camera to make sure it was being used by the correct user and thats it! shouldn't have reported that the user was taking "Pills" which were actually sweets.

At the end of the day the admin f*cked up and won't do it again. Period! Its school property laptops therefore the school can do anything with them anyway.

I've checked logs on literally thousands of computers for signs of misuse within my company, and if I found any, only needed to check the login used to verify the identity of the person abusing their priveledges. The person whose login was active at the time is the person responsible, period. I didn't need a camera to verify that Mattfrompa.

Burty, you're wrong on so many levels I don't even know what to say. When dealing with minor children, under the age of 18 and off school property, the school has absolutely NO right to activate a camera on the laptop unless it has been reported stolen by that student, PERIOD.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

What really blows my mind more than anything though, is that the school, over a 2 year period, purchased 2,620 laptops at $1000 each. That's $2,620,000 that could have been spent on hiring decent teachers (most high school teachers today are borderline retarded), new/updated textbooks, or making improvements to the school itself (like building a new library). Just another example of misappropriated funds.

It's also surprising that they paid $1000 a pop for the laptops when a $300 laptop from Walmart could easily accomplish any academic task the student might need. It seems like school districts are more interested in who has the leading technology nowadays, rather than who has the highest academic standards.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Wendig0 said:

Burty, you're wrong on so many levels I don't even know what to say. When dealing with minor children, under the age of 18 and off school property, the school has absolutely NO right to activate a camera on the laptop unless it has been reported stolen by that student, PERIOD.

I'm only 17 and I'm 18 in july. unless your 14 or younger its not as serious as everyone makes out to be. I left school and did an intensive college course now been working for a good IT support company for over a year now. I have been pulling appart computers since I was in year 8.

Stop treating anyone under 18 as minor children. i'm not 18 yet I refuse to be treated like some stupid little kid.

AtK SpAdE AtK SpAdE, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

burty117 said:

Stop treating anyone under 18 as minor children. i'm not 18 yet I refuse to be treated like some stupid little kid.

Well under the law, if even you are the exception, you are still a minor. There is really no arguing that. And the fact that the cameras were activated on minors not only breaches alot of privacy laws, in dabbles (potentially) in child "porn"

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm only 17 and I'm 18 in july. unless your 14 or younger its not as serious as everyone makes out to be. I left school and did an intensive college course now been working for a good IT support company for over a year now. I have been pulling appart computers since I was in year 8.

Stop treating anyone under 18 as minor children. i'm not 18 yet I refuse to be treated like some stupid little kid.

Relax. Regardless of how you feel, according to the law you're still a minor. This isn't about how long you, or anyone else, has been pulling apart computers. I've been in IT for years myself, but the point is moot. Any IT administrator worth their salt knows there are much less intrusive and equally effective ways of tracking a user's activity without invading their privacy, than a stealth program that activates a webcam.

This is about right or wrong, and spying on students at home regardless of their age or the intent, is wrong.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Wendig0 said:

I'm only 17 and I'm 18 in july. unless your 14 or younger its not as serious as everyone makes out to be. I left school and did an intensive college course now been working for a good IT support company for over a year now. I have been pulling appart computers since I was in year 8.

Stop treating anyone under 18 as minor children. i'm not 18 yet I refuse to be treated like some stupid little kid.

Relax. Regardless of how you feel, according to the law you're still a minor. This isn't about how long you, or anyone else, has been pulling apart computers. I've been in IT for years myself, but the point is moot. Any IT administrator worth their salt knows there are much less intrusive and equally effective ways of tracking a user's activity without invading their privacy, than a stealth program that activates a webcam.

This is about right or wrong, and spying on students at home regardless of their age or the intent, is wrong.

Finally! someone with an arguement that seems correct! its true, an admin worth his salt should know better ways.

And I think the Law is wrong! When you leave school you should become an adult. I'm fed up of not being able to own a visa card or go into a bank and talk about investments and stuff. I earn the same wage as some of the older people and work just as hard, hell i've been promoted once already and I've got one MCP already! I just think its unfair for the ones who want to get on out of school still get treated the same as "minors".

foreverzero89 said:

burty117 said:

Wendig0 said:

Burty, you're wrong on so many levels I don't even know what to say. When dealing with minor children, under the age of 18 and off school property, the school has absolutely NO right to activate a camera on the laptop unless it has been reported stolen by that student, PERIOD.

I'm only 17 and I'm 18 in july. unless your 14 or younger its not as serious as everyone makes out to be. I left school and did an intensive college course now been working for a good IT support company for over a year now. I have been pulling appart computers since I was in year 8.

Stop treating anyone under 18 as minor children. i'm not 18 yet I refuse to be treated like some stupid little kid.

this explains your lack of foresight and juvenile thinking. you are young inexperienced and for a lack of a better term, stupid. it is not until you get MUCH older that you realize that.

this goes beyond just trying to find a missing laptop, this was done purposely. to what purpose? i can't say for sure, but this was a government funded project so i'm speculating that it was some kind of testbed for use on a wider scale, just to see how the people think about this sort of thing . obviously it blew up in their faces.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

The blood sucking lawyers are talking class action suit now. They are swarming because this is an easy meal for them. In class action suits the lawyers get the most.

Right, the citizens of the township will sue their own property taxes to double what they are now, and the laywers will pocket the money.

Old school, this is called, "cutting off your nose to spite your face".

foreverzero89 said:

also on the arugement that if they signed a terms of service document, if that TOS "lets" them do something illeagl, then the contract is null and void.

megrawab said:

Wahaha.. I totally agree with the previous comments... Its their right to privacy. Why should they spy them while they can teach them the right thing to do with their notebooks.

I saw one comment of a guest here and he said: "If the school district captured children naked via the web cams, can anyone say child pornography? "

---> Lol sounds funny but he has a point!!!...

bearspencer said:

"If the school district captured children naked via the web cams, can anyone say child pornography? "

---> Lol sounds funny but he has a point!!!...

Especially when prosecutors have charged underaged teens with child pornography felonies for sexting pictures of themselves to others

Guest said:

burty, you said 'because it has nothing to do with me! I am there to fix the issue not to look at naked pictures of the user or their ilegal Child porn collection.'

Sorry, but it has indeed something to do with you. You are legally bound to inform the police of any child porn found on a computer, as not to do so means allowing the computer owner to continue with his illegal activities and puts more children in danger. I realise at 17 you maybe didn't know this, but your employer should have made this clear to you. Next time you find child porn on anyone's computer, report it either directly to the police or to your boss who can then get in contact with the police on your behalf. Everyone must fight against child abuse of any kind, wherever they come across it. If you ignore it, what does that say about you? I'm sure you don't wish children to suffer in this way, so please don't ignore material like this is future.

About the school business - yes, a horrible thought for anyone that they may have been spied on in their own room at home, maybe in a state of undress. This isn't something to make light of, it's a very nasty and serious situation. The school may protest that they were doing nothing wrong, but they were and I'm not surprised legal action is being taken against them. This was a violation of privacy and was totally inexcusable.

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