February 18, 2010
(NEWSER) – A well-heeled Philadelphia school district gave out laptops to students—then used the webcams attached to covertly spy on them, both at school and at home, according to a class-action lawsuit. The case, Blake J. Robbins v. Lower Merion School District, was filed after one of the school’s vice principals disciplined Robbins’ son for “improper behavior in his home,” using a photo taken from the camera as evidence, according to the filing.
The laptops were issued to 1,800 students at three high schools in the district, each with a built-in webcam that, according to the lawsuit, administrators can activate remotely and covertly. The suit is a class action, brought on behalf of all the students and their parents. They’re seeking damages for invasion of privacy, theft of private information, and unlawful interception and access of electronic information.