District in webcam spying lawsuit adopts new laptop-tracking policies

Pennsylvania’s Lower Merion School District has adopted a new set of policies to govern the use and tracking of student laptops and other technology, its latest step to get past the furor of remote webcam monitoring, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. The measures, passed unanimously by the school board at its monthly meeting Aug. 16, spell out in detail when, how, and for what reasons school officials can access or monitor the laptops they will give to each of the district’s nearly 2,300 high school students next month. The measures require students and their parents to acknowledge the policies and consent in writing to any tracking, or give them an option not to participate in the laptop program. They also mandate expanded training about privacy and technology for teachers and staff and will include information sessions for parents. The new policies, recommended by a task force of students, parents, administrators, and community members, met one of the provisions of a federal court injunction signed in May by U.S. District Judge Jan E. DuBois. Besides banning any unauthorized webcam monitoring, the judge ordered the district to enact expansive, transparent policies before the school year opens in September…

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