Feeds

School secretly snapped 1000s of students at home

Some while sleeping or partially undressed

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

A suburban Philadelphia school district secretly captured thousands of images of students in their homes, sometimes as they slept or were partially undressed, according to documents filed in federal court.

Using a system to track lost or stolen laptops, officials from the Lower Merion School District also covertly surveilled students as they used their school-issued Macs, logging online chats and taking screenshots of websites they visited, according to the documents.

The allegations came to light in a lawsuit filed by the family of Blake Robbins, which argues that the LANrev software illegally invaded his privacy. The family first learned of the surveillance in November when an assistant principal confronted the 15-year-old high school sophomore with a picture of him that was taken by the tracking software.

The image, Robbins has said, showed him with a handful of Mike and Ike candies that the principal had mistaken for illegal pills.

Robbins' $1,000 laptop was not believed to be missing, so the theft-tracking software never should have been activated, his attorney has argued.

School officials told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the software was turned on because Robbins' family had failed to pay a $55 insurance fee to cover the laptop, so he was not authorized to take it home. They also say there is no evidence to indicate school employees used any of the images inappropriately.

Still, the district acknowledged that the software has been activated 42 times since September and an undisclosed number of times the previous year. They have yet to say how many students were photographed or monitored.

According to documents filed by the Robbins' attorney on Thursday, more than 400 images were secretly snapped of Blake, some while he was sleeping or partially undressed.

"Thousands of webcam pictures and screenshots have been taken of numerous other students in their homes, many of which never reported their laptops lost or missing," the filing added.

The motion went on to recite the email exchange between two district employees who administered the laptops.

Viewing the images was like watching "a little LMSD soap opera," one of them said, referring to the initials of the school district.

"I know, I love it!" technology coordinator Carol Cafiero replied.

Much more from The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Associated Press is here and here. Additional details about the school district's use of LANrev are here. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.