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School District Agrees to Pay $600K For Using School Laptops to Spy on Students

Lower Merion School District Assistant Principal Lindy Matsko used remotely activated school issued webcams to spy on students. When she noticed 15 year-old student Blake Robbins in his home with something in his hands, Ms. Matsko used photographs taken using the webcam to accuse Mr. Robbins of selling drugs. Robbin’s stated the “drugs” were actually Mike & Ike candies. Robbin’s family then sued the School District for civil rights violations, which involved spying on students and the taking of 56,000 clandestine photographs across 2300 laptop computers issued to students. The school board decided to settle the case, rather than see the case through to a verdict. The school district’s insurer agreed to pay $1.2 million toward the settlement. According to the Chicago Tribune, $175,000 will be placed in trust for Blake Robbins, $10,000 will go to a second student, Jalil Hassan and $425,000 with go to lawyer Mark Haltzman.

For more background on this case, read my posts from February, here and here.

Brett Trout

Posted in Internet Law. Tagged with .