February 23rd 2010
How do people even come up with stuff like this?
Similarly, students at Harriton High School in Rosemont, Pennsylvania just discovered that school officials had given laptops to students to take home with remotely-activated webcams, that could be used to take photos in student’s homes and transmit them back to school officials. Incredibly, this was discovered not by students or their parents examining the laptops, but because school officials used the feature to take a photo of a student in his bedroom, and then confronted him about “inappropriate” behavior, not considering that the students and their parents might consider it “inappropriate” that the school snuck spy cams into their bedrooms. (The school has issued a denial claiming, “At no time did any high school administrator have the ability or actually access the security-tracking software” — which doesn’t seem to make sense, since the lawsuit was filed in the first place because the student was told by the assistant principal that the webcam had caught him engaging in “inappropriate behavior.”) What was the school thinking? Probably, they were thinking, “These are minors, we can do what we want.” If their student clientele had been comprised of adults, they never would have dreamed that they could confront a student about behavior in their room that they captured with a hidden camera. (Ironically, the school may end up in more trouble for spying on minors, as this editorial argues, since the school officials may now be guilty of recording and possessing child porn, depending on what the cameras “captured” in the students’ rooms!)
It always amazes me that people even think they can get away with it. And what kind of a sick basterd do you need to be to watch what those cameras transmitted? Does anyone sue the school for this?