Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pennsylvania School Webcam Spying Case Settled

We reported in February, 2010 on a federal lawsuit that alleged a Pennsylvania public school used video cameras in school-issued laptop to spy on its students at their homes. now reports the case has been settled:

The Lower Merion School District will pay $610,000 to settle lawsuits over its tracking of student laptop computers, ending an eight-month saga that thrust the elite district into a global spotlight and stirred questions about technology and privacy in schools.

School board members voted unanimously Monday night to pay $185,000 to the two students who claimed the district spied on them by secretly activating the webcams on their laptops.

The bulk of the money, $175,000, will be put in trust for Blake Robbins, the Harriton High School junior whose family brought the issue to light in February. Jalil Hasan, who filed his lawsuit this summer after graduating from Lower Merion High School, will receive $10,000.

The district will also pay $425,000 in legal fees to their attorney, Mark S. Haltzman.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
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