School used Webcams to Spy on Students at Home

A suburban Philadelphia school district accused of secretly switching on laptop computer webcams inside students’ homes says it never used webcam images to monitor or discipline students and believes one of its administrators has been “unfairly portrayed and unjustly attacked.” The Lower Merion School District, in response to a suit filed by a student, has acknowledged that webcams were remotely activated 42 times in the past 14 months, but only to find missing, lost or stolen laptops รขโ‚ฌโ€ which the district noted would include “a loaner computer that, against regulations, might be taken off campus.” “Despite some reports to the contrary, be assured that the security-tracking software has been completely disabled,” Superintendent Christopher W. McGinley said in a statement on the district’s Web site late Friday. Officials vowed a comprehensive review that McGinley said should result in stronger privacy policies.

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