Smile! You’re On Laptop Camera!

There’s an update, and not a good one, to a story that Carin posted back in February aboutthe Lower Merion School District spying on its students with laptop webcams.

After an investigation by both federal and local authorities, it has been determined that criminal intent could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, meaning that the case cannot go ahead.

If it’s not criminal then it’s certainly negligent and a huge violation of some pretty basic privacy rights, so I hope that a suit of some kind might still be in the cards.

“After a thorough review of the evidence in this matter by my office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, the Montgomery County Detectives, and the Lower Merion Police Department, I have concluded that bringing criminal charges is not warranted in this matter,” Memeger said in a statement. “We have not found evidence that would establish beyond a reasonable doubt that anyone involved had criminal intent,” he added.

The Lower Merion School District found itself under the spotlight following the suit by Robbins, who alleged that school employees had photographed him 400 times in a two-week period late last year at times when he was partially undressed or sleeping.

The allegation brought to light that the district had activated the Webcams on student laptops over a 14-month period through the use of a remote control system. School officials said that the tracking system was set up only to locate lost or stolen laptops, but they soon admitted that the software had stayed active even after a laptop was found. As a result, the program took images every 15 minutes, capturing a total of 56,000 pictures in total, according to the Associated Press.

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