Penn. School Admits to Remotely Activating Webcams on Student Computers

February 22, 2010
Headlines

A suburban Philadelphia school district has admitted it secretly switched on laptop computer cameras inside students’ homes, but officials say the cameras were only remotely activated to find missing or stolen laptops. The Lower Merion School District issued Apple laptops with webcams to all 2,300 students at its two high schools, but students were never informed the school had the ability to remotely activate the laptop cameras to watch them at home. The policy came to light after a student named Blake Robbins and his family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the school system. Blake Robbins’ family said the school activated his webcam when he was eating Mike & Ike candy at home and mistook the sweets for drugs.

Attorney Mark Haltzman: "They’re trying to allege that when Blake was holding two Mike & Ikes in his hand, which he apparently loves and eats religiously, that those were pills, and somehow he’s involved in selling drugs."