Laptop Webcams Used To Spy On Students

Posted: Feb 18 2010, 1:00pm CST | by , Updated: Aug 11 2010, 7:36pm CDT, in News | Technology News

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Have you ever considered the possibility that someone could be watching you, right through your webcam? If you use a laptop with any frequency, that little camera is staring you straight in the eyes every minute you are on. Kind of chilling, isn't it? Good thing no one has ever used a laptop webcam as a spy camera.

Oh wait, someone just did. Cory Doctorow reports on of the scariest stories to involve the tech industry since the Foxconn suicide. The Lower Merion School District, whose students live in suburban Philly, issues laptops to all of its kids. All of these laptops have webcams that were set up to allow the administrators to activate them remotely.

Feeling skeezed out yet? It gets worse. The district disciplined a child for improper behavior in his home, using a photo snapped by the webcam as evidence. Now a gigantic legal brouhaha is imminent.

Is this just a curio story, soon to be swept under the rug of time? Or is this the first in a long line of debates about the extent of our personal privacy in a modern world? Post your thoughts in the comments.
School reponds to the situation here.

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