Apr 212010
 April 21, 2010  Posted by  Breaches, Court, Surveillance, Youth & Schools

Derrick Nunnally reports that the Lower Merion School District IT coordinator is firing back against Harriton High School sophomore Blake Robbins’ lawsuit.

Even in his own home, the Harriton High School sophomore had “no legitimate expectation of privacy” from the camera on his school-issued laptop, information systems coordinator Carol Cafiero contended in a court filing on Tuesday.

Cafiero – who is on paid leave while the district investigates the laptop controversy – claimed Robbins lost any legal protection from the Web-camera security system when he took a school laptop home without permission.


Robbins had previously broken “at least two” school computers and did not pay the insurance fee required to get permission to take home the Apple MacBook that later snapped his pictures, Cafiero’s attorney, Charles Mandracchia, wrote in the filing.

“When you’re in the home, you should have a legitimate expectation of privacy,” Mandracchia said in an interview. “But if you’re taking something without permission, how can you cry foul when you shouldn’t have it anyway?”

Read more on Philly.com.

Okay, assuming for the moment that that’s correct,what about other people in the home who do have a reasonable expectation of privacy and may have been caught on camera?

And if the district really thought it was lost/stolen, why didn’t they contact him and turn off the webcam after the very first pictures showing him using it? In other reporting on the case, Richard Ilgenfritz notes:

Haltzman believes there could be more images of his client than the more than 400 the district told him it recovered.

“In fact, as to Blake Robbins, the LANrev spying technology was activated from Oct. 20 through Nov. 4 but the 430 images recovered were only for the first eight days. LMSD [the Lower Merion School District] has yet to account for the images taken from Blake Robbins’ computer for seven days.”

This case is shaping up to become a lot nastier and more complicated with each new round of accusations.

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