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Anorak | Schools use loaned laptops to spy on students

Schools use loaned laptops to spy on students

by | 19th, June 2017

Rhode Island schools operating ‘1-1’ programs are spying on students. Under the terms of the program adopted by 22 of the state’s 33 school districts, students each get a laptop supplied by a third party. The issue is that everything students do on those laptops gets seen by the State.

Even if you use the machine at home, the State is watching you.

If you can afford your own laptop, no problem. What you do at school can be monitored but at home you have a right to privacy. But if you’re poorer, a child in a family that can’t afford laptops, you are watched day and night.

Something that was intended to open up young minds and increase freedom and free thought is being used to control and limit. The people behind these schemes have a pretty low opinion of the students they teach, treating them as suspects.

How that webcam, kiddo?

The ACLU adds:

It also discovered that a majority of those districts allow school officials or administrators to remotely access the device — while a student is at home, without their knowledge, and without any suspicion of misconduct. We know from an outrageous Pennsylvania case, in which school administrators were found to have activated webcams to spy on students in their homes.

 

Blake Robbins computers

Blake Robbins: a screenshot of the sleeping student taken by the school district

 

CBS reported on that appalling abuse of trust in Pennsylvania’s Lower Merion School District. The school had captured over 50,000 screenshots o! students using their computers:

Holly Robbins, Blake’s mother, told CBS News, “I don’t feel this school has the right to put cameras inside the kids’ home, inside their bedrooms and spy on them.”

The Robbins family claims they learned of the breach after the assistant principal showed Blake pictures of himself and confronted him for engaging in “improper behavior in his home.”

Blake said, “She thought I was selling drugs, which is completely false.”

That’s when Holly and her husband, Michael Robbins, filed a federal lawsuit against the Lower Merion School District, claiming officials had “spied” on their son.

School officials admitted they’d captured thousands of webcam photographs and screen shots from student laptops in a misguided effort to locate missing computers.

The school district agreed a $610,000 settlement. Blake received $175,000 in a trust and $25,000 up front. The lawyers got a huge slice of it, naturally.

Spotter: RicCentral,High School Non-Confidential: How School-Loaned Computers May Be Peering Into Your Home.

 



Posted: 19th, June 2017 | In: News, Technology Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink