When a pupil was issued with a school laptop to use at home, little did he realise it would be used spy on him, according to a lawsuit brought against the school.
Student Blake J Robbins was told by the school's assistant principal that she had evidence from the webcam that he had been "engaged in improper behaviour in his home".
Talk about Big Brother watching you. I thought the school's responsibility stopped at the end of the school day when parents took over.The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Blake, alleges that on November 11 last year assistant principal at Harriton High School, Lindy Matsko, spoke to him about his behaviour.
It states the evidence she had was "a photograph from the webcam embedded in minor Plaintiff's personal laptop issued by the School District".
It also alleges that Blake's father was told by the assistant principal that "the School District in fact has the ability to remotely activate the webcam" and the pupils and their families were not told about this when the computers were issued.
According to NBC News Philadelphia the lawsuit, brought against Pennsylvania's Lower Merion School District, the school board and district superintendent Christopher C McGinley, seeks class action to represent the 1,800 students who were issued with laptops by the school district.
Last week the district posted a statement on its website detailing its efforts to promote technology in the classroom and that it was among the first in Pennsylvania to provide a completely wireless network.
The statement went on: "Last year, our district became one of the first school systems in the United States to provide laptop computers to all high school students. This initiative has been well received and has provided educational benefits to our students.
"The District is dedicated to protecting and promoting student privacy. The laptops do contain a security feature intended to track lost, stolen and missing laptops. This feature has been deactivated, effective today.
"We regret if this situation has caused any concern or inconvenience among our students and families. The allegations are counter to everything that we stand for as a school and a community. We are reviewing the matter and will provide an additional update as soon as information becomes available."
If this is true it does raise an awful lot of questions. Most teenagers keep their laptops in their bedrooms where they should be able to have total privacy.
Source (Parentdish US)