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School Staff Secretly Clicked Webcam Snaps of High School Students

As per the documents registered in the federal court, a school district surreptitiously captured numerous images of the students while in homes, when they were sleeping or even partially unclothed.

Situated in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, the Lower Merion School District elicited a ruckus through a tracking feature on laptops. This feature potentially debased family privacy. The students filed a civil lawsuit saying that their privacy was violated by the district as it indiscriminately used its ability to distantly activate incorporated webcams in the laptops issued by it.

The investigators found that in most cases, system was turned on by the technicians after a staffer or student reported complaint of the missing laptop, and turned off after it was found.

As per the review, in at least five cases, school staff allowed Web cams to continue clicking snaps for days or weeks even after the students found missing laptops. Those systems were specially programmed to click a photo and catch a screenshot every 15 minutes while the machine was on.

Henry Hockeimer, district's lawyer, said that letting the Web cams clicks snaps even after finding the laptops was a major mistake, as reported by The Philadelphia on April 20, 2010. He said that those tracking should certainly have been stopped earlier. He said this in a school board meeting on the night of April 19, 2010.

Reportedly, the allegations came forth when a lawsuit was filed by Blake Robbins family. The family argues that LANrev software reportedly violated Robin's privacy. Robin's family first came to know about the surveillance last year in November. There an assistant principle faced the high school sophomore, aged 15, with a snap of him which was clicked by that tracking software.

Robbins said that in the picture, he was holding few Mike and Ike candies, and the principle had misidentified them for illegal pills.

As said by David Ebby, the president of the school district's board of school directors, though the higher officials apologize for the misunderstandings and erroneous actions which have to this situation in the district, no evidence at this late phase of the investigation is in view that district staff used photographs of screenshots taken by LANRev WebCam for such wrong purposes, as reported by info security.com on April 20, 2010.

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