Feeds

Report reams IT admins for secretly snapping student pics

More than 58,000 images captured

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

A suburban Philadelphia school district secretly captured more than 58,000 images of students and their friends and family members as a result of an "overzealous" campaign to track the whereabouts of school-issued laptops, according to an independent report.

Although the tracking technology was supposed to be used only in cases where a laptop was stolen or missing, 50,000 of those images were taken after the computers had been recovered, according to the report, prepared by a former federal prosecutor and a computer forensics firm.

Investigators blamed the privacy breach on two IT employees for the Lower Merion School District, who installed administrative software called LANrev on the school-issued MacBooks. The investigators also faulted administrators for not enforcing official policies or procedures for use of the program, which could be programed to surreptitiously snap pictures at regular intervals from the camera mounted on the monitor.

The 69-page report found no proof that anyone deliberately set out to spy on students, or that once captured, the images were downloaded. But it nonetheless blasted IT workers and administrators alike.

"Rather, the collection of images from laptops while they were in the possession of students resulted from the District's failure to implement policies, procedures, and recordkeeping requirements and the overzealous and questionable use of technology by IS (information services) personnel without any apparent regard for privacy considerations or sufficient consultation with administrators," it stated.

More than 400 images were secretly snapped of Blake Robbins, a high school student who has filed suit for invasion of privacy. Some were taken while he was sleeping or partially undressed, although the report said none of the images included nudity.

A PDF of the report is here and there's more from The Philadelphia Inquirer here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.