Feeds

Report reams IT admins for secretly snapping student pics

More than 58,000 images captured

3 Big data security analytics techniques

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. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
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.