Berman & Asbel, LLP

Lawsuit alleges Lower Merion School District uses school-issued laptops to spy on students

In the Lower Merion School District outside Philadelphia, they have a program in which all high school students are issued an Apple Macbook laptop computer to use during their high school years.  Other than a small fee for insurance for damage to the computer, there is no cost to the students for the computers.  These computers are used for school work but can also be used for personal activities such as email, instant messaging and so on.  Students and parents have been pretty happy with the program - at least until now.  According to allegations stated in a class action lawsuit filed by a student at Harriton High School and his parents, the school district can and does remotely activate the web cam built into these computers to monitor the activities of students (and anyone else in the room) without the knowledge of the students.

You can read more about this case in this Philadelphia Inquirer article.  Here is a link to download a copy of the lawsuit filed in the case of Robbins v. Lower Merion School District et al. in federal court in Philadelphia.  The lawsuit alleges the school district has violated a number of federal laws related to tampering with computers and interception of electronic communications among others.  The school district is not commenting on the case and is referring the matter to attorneys.

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