Feb 192010
 
 February 19, 2010  Court, Surveillance, Youth & Schools

A school district responds to a lawsuit alleging that students were spied on in their own homes by district-issued laptops by saying that the surveillance was a security feature.

Kreg Keizer reports:

A suburban Philadelphia school district yesterday denied it spied on students by remotely activating the cameras on their school-issued MacBook laptops.

In a statement released late Thursday, Christopher McGinley, the superintendent of Lower Merion School District of Ardmore, Pa., admitted that the MacBooks’ cameras could be turned on without the user’s knowledge, but said that the functionality was part of a security feature.

“Laptops are a frequent target for theft in schools and off-school property,” said McGinley. “The security feature was installed to help locate a laptop in the event it was reported lost, missing or stolen so that the laptop could be returned to the student.” When switched on, the feature was limited to taking snapshots of whomever was using the notebook and capturing the computer’s current screen.

Read more on Computerworld.

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