A school district in Philadelphia is currently battling a lawsuit over a new surveillance system they created with hopes of preventing bad behavior, and stealing in their school. Ever student was given a laptop at the beginning of the year, but little did they know that faculty and staff were able to monitor their behavior through their web cams.The school claims that this program was meant to only help find lost laptops, and prevent theft. The lawsuit came up over an apperant picture taken by a webcam of a boy in his home. And I thought Mrs. Bills patrolling the cafeteria was infringing on student privacy.
New advancements in technology allows for new ways to prevent crimes and stop bad behavior, but at what point does this surveillance go too far? Personally I would much rather live in a completely free society with more crime, then in a society where my behavior is under close scrutiny all of the time. This lawsuit brings up more uncomfortable memories of things like the patriot law, and advancements in forensics. Next thing you no we will have tele-screens floating around on our walls, and we could live in a place much like Minority Report.
The most disturbing part of this incident was that no of the students were told that they were being monitored. They had no idea that faculties members were able to watch them through their webcams.
When the district began issuing laptops to all its students two years ago, it never informed them of the tracking feature, said Young, the district spokesman.
Read More http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/02/school-district-halts-webcam-surveillance/#ixzz0gCVeObBc
If the school thought there would really be such problems with behavior they should have prevented them the old fashioned way, with a ruler to the knuckles. Not by sacrificing the basic civil liberties of all their students.