Schools spying on students via laptop cams

PBS recently put out a documentary called Digital Nation, which was pretty much about how technology was changing schools, life etc. But there was one very disturbing part in the documentary where the Lower Merion School District’s Assistant Principal demonstrated how he was able to spy on what the students were doing on their laptops:

He laughs and claims he likes to mess with the students by taking their pictures.

“They don’t even know we’re watching”.

In the video, it seems like the software being demonstrated is only able to see remotely what the students themselves are seeing on their desktops. However allegations have been made that the software is actually able to turn on the webcam without the knowledge of the students.

The FBI has now opened a criminal investigation over this issue.

Firstly, WTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTFFFFFFFF?! Is it even legal to be able to spy on peoples desktops remotely without their knowledge? It seems like these students had no idea that it was happening. Do these guys have no lives at all that they’re watching what some young kids are doing on the PC? Come on, thats what those net nannies are for.

I can totally imagine that this is also happening in the workplace. People are all up-in-arms about it because they’re afraid that the schools are spying on their children getting dressed and in the shower or whatever (watch this girl try to get attention by accusing her school of spying on her in the shower). If I was a student and I saw someone was taking my picture from the webcam, i’d cover it up with black tape right away.

But what about those in the workplace?

If the job had gone the legal route and let me know that everything could be watched and recorded, it would be a little better. But i’m still not a fan of all this digital spying. I don’t even like to look on other peoples computers, it’s often that you can stumble on private things without meaning to.

This digital age has made stalking a whole lot easier but the gross part is that it also seems to be accepted. It takes away from the fun of getting to know people too. Embrace the mystery!

What do you think? Is it OK to watch what other people are doing on their computers? Is it correct for the school to spy on their kids? Should they REALLY care what they’re doing if their school work is getting done? Leave a comment or tweet your thoughts to @HelloLiefje.

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