FBI investigating school spycam case

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MacBook spying row attracts the authority's interests.

The FBI has begun investigating the case of a school using webcams to spy on its students at home, according to the Associated Press.

An anonymous official associated with the case said the FBI was looking into the actions of Lower Merion School District, which installed software on 2,620 school-issued MacBooks to allow images to be recorded by the built-in camera without the student's knowledge.

The actions of the school may have broken US wiretapping laws according to the source, although the FBI has yet to confirm it is officially investigating the school district.

The case came to light when student Blake Robbins was disciplined for "improper behavior in his home" and allegedly shown an image of himself taken by the software. His parents are now suing the school district.

The school maintains that this was not the case and that the software was only activated 42 times after a laptop had been reported stolen or missing. In 18 cases, the images led to the recovery of the laptop.

“While certain rules for laptop use were spelled out - such as prohibitive uses on and off school property - there was no explicit notification that the laptop contained the security software. This notice should have been given and we regret that was not done,” said Dr. Christopher McGinley , superintendent of schools for Lower Merion School District.

“Once again, we regret this situation has been a source of concern and disruption, and trust that we will soon have stronger privacy policies in place as a result of the lessons learned and our comprehensive review that is now underway.”

The school maintains that only two people in its IT department could activate the software and the function has now been disabled.

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