For many students, renting laptops from schools to use is an effective and inexpensive way to get work done. Even some universities offer the same deal, but no student ever stops to ask, what cost do the laptops truly come at? For those enrolled in schools around the Lower Merion High School district, it may very well cost you almost all of your privacy.
Students issued laptops in the aforementioned district were given computers that could have their webcams remotely activated at the will of the school administrators, though it's unclear how long the disturbing practice had gone on for. It was only discovered recently when a school punished a student named Blake Robbins for "improper behavior in his home," with the Vice Principal even providing a photo as evidence. According to Boing Boing, a class action suit has been filed against the school, on behalf of all students issued the laptops.
This truly is a frightening event for students and parents, and is one of the most disturbing violations of privacy in recent news. Schools are constantly telling students to be careful with their privacy, and not to let anybody online know too much about them, but it's hard to stay private when you're being spied on by your own school – people you should be able to trust – in your very own home. You can read the class action suit details here, in .PDF format.
Photo Credit: Flickr