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View Full Version : Big Brother has a field day....



YardleyLabs
02-19-2010, 07:34 AM
A lawsuit has just been filed against the Lower Merion School District (Philadelphia suburbs) for invasion of student privacy. It turns out that the laptop computers provided to all students by the high school contain webcams along with a feature -- never disclosed publicly -- that permits the school to take a picture whenever it wishes through remote control. The school says that this was installed so they could track down anyone stealing one of the computers. However, the existence of this feature became public after an assistant principal sent a letter to one student's parents saying that, based on photos taken of him in his bedroom, it was apparent that the student was engaging in inappropriate activities. The school district has now posted a letter on its web site stating that no one should be concerned since they have now "disabled" that feature and will not reinstate it without notifying all parents and students in advance. Given how such features are marketed, one has to wonder if other school districts have done something similar.

Wouldn't Homeland Security like that capability?

subroc
02-19-2010, 07:54 AM
This is well past an invasion of privacy and borders on voyeurism.

badbullgator
02-19-2010, 08:04 AM
Taking pics of high school girls or boys in their bedrooms WOULD land most people in jail for kiddy porn..........
just saying

Hew
02-19-2010, 08:12 AM
That's amazing. What rational person in a position of responsibility with the school system would think using web cams to peer into student's personal lives was a good idea? That's some serious poor judgement. Scary stupid. Chased out of the builidng with sticks stupid.

Goose
02-19-2010, 09:01 AM
No wonder home schooling has become so popular. No doubt the Principal of this high school worked late on Friday nights watching videos of his students...putter in hand.

The boy they spied on probably had a 'Vote Republican' poster on his bedroom wall...inexcusable behavior and won't be tolerated by any government school.

dnf777
02-19-2010, 09:14 AM
And the screensavers display:

Good is bad
White is black
War is peace

1984 arrives in 2010! Actually, its been here already.
Hew, don't worry, I have an extra tin foil hat I can let you have.

On a serious note, if I were that parent, I would be hounding the DA to bring charges against school officials for voryerism, internet trafficking of child pornography, and anything else I could think of to land them in jail for a long time.

road kill
02-19-2010, 09:28 AM
A lawsuit has just been filed against the Lower Merion School District (Philadelphia suburbs) for invasion of student privacy. It turns out that the laptop computers provided to all students by the high school contain webcams along with a feature -- never disclosed publicly -- that permits the school to take a picture whenever it wishes through remote control. The school says that this was installed so they could track down anyone stealing one of the computers. However, the existence of this feature became public after an assistant principal sent a letter to one student's parents saying that, based on photos taken of him in his bedroom, it was apparent that the student was engaging in inappropriate activities. The school district has now posted a letter on its web site stating that no one should be concerned since they have now "disabled" that feature and will not reinstate it without notifying all parents and students in advance. Given how such features are marketed, one has to wonder if other school districts have done something similar.

Wouldn't Homeland Security like that capability?

You are assuming they don't??;-)



rk

ducknwork
02-19-2010, 11:41 AM
WOW. I would be one angry parent for sure. :mad:

cotts135
02-19-2010, 07:46 PM
You are assuming they don't??;-)



rk

That to is a problem.

Eric Johnson
02-19-2010, 08:54 PM
The criminal authorities should move against the Asst Principal. The individual was peeking at youth. It may even be underage pornography.

Eric

YardleyLabs
02-19-2010, 09:44 PM
The criminal authorities should move against the Asst Principal. The individual was peeking at youth. It may even be underage pornography.

Eric
That is certainly the question that has been raised. The law suit is now being represented by the ACLU, but many parents have noted that their children keep the laptops in their bedrooms and that the computers are never turned off. No details have been released concerning the "inappropriate" behavior with which the one student was accused. By bringing in the ACLU, it seems that the parents are more interested in making an example of the school board than they are in obtaining financial compensation. Hopefully this will actually go to the courts instead of ending up with a quiet settlement.

precisionlabradors
02-19-2010, 11:51 PM
the student's families shouldn't have accepted the computers.
________
Zr engine (http://www.toyota-wiki.com/wiki/Toyota_ZR_engine)

YardleyLabs
02-20-2010, 08:05 AM
the student's families shouldn't have accepted the computers.
No one mentioned the "special" feature included with each machine.

road kill
02-20-2010, 08:43 AM
No one mentioned the "special" feature included with each machine.

Oddly, there is a much larger "picture" here.
I doubt many will get that point and it is not worth trying to explain.
But simply, by accepting the entitlement hand out of the computer more than one of these families freedoms and libertys were usurped.

Yes, they got a computer, at what cost??

If you want something go out and earn it.

My Father once told me....."there is NO free lunch!!":D





rk

YardleyLabs
02-20-2010, 09:23 AM
I understand your point, but I'm not sure it actually applies. This particular district made a decision to make computers a integral part of the public school curriculum. The purpose of assigning computers to each student was not to provide a computer to those who could not afford one (or would not buy one), but to ensure that each student was using the same equipment and software to allow integration with school work. Every student receives a school issued computer to be used for all school work whether they have other computers of their own or not.

From a perspective of technology management, I actually disagree with structuring environments based on such tight integration. However, mandating standardly configured machines for all is consistent with the practices of many, if not most, major corporations. From their perspective, it is equivalent to assigning the same text books to each student in a class, and is handled the same way.

dnf777
02-21-2010, 07:51 AM
Oddly, there is a much larger "picture" here.
I doubt many will get that point and it is not worth trying to explain.
But simply, by accepting the entitlement hand out of the computer more than one of these families freedoms and libertys were usurped.

Yes, they got a computer, at what cost??

If you want something go out and earn it.

My Father once told me....."there is NO free lunch!!":D

rk

RK,
I hear your brethern complainin all the time about paying taxes. School taxes paid for these, so the people did NOT accept a free lunch. They received a modern, state of the art tool to aid in the education of their kids. I find it amusing that people have no problem with the ACLU when THEIR rights have been violated......just others.
ie...being suspected of narcotic diversion and abuse, then having the same organization you railed against for years, help you beat the drug charges.....

Besides, if the costs of textbooks can be replaced with the one-time cost of an electronic media, it will probably save money in the long run.

Is it just me, or has the obvious, simple solution here, to just SHUT THE LAPBOOK'S COVER WHEN NOT USING IT????

Master of the obvious regards...
dave