Last month a Pennsylvania school district came under fire when a student and his parents filed a lawsuit alleging school officials had spied on them by remotely activating the webcam on a district-issued laptop without their knowledge or consent. The latest development in the case came Friday, when the district announced two technicians have been placed on administrative leave, with pay, pending the outcome of the lawsuit and any criminal investigations.
According to an Associated Press story at SiliconValley.com, the technicians are the only people who had the authority to remotely activate laptop webcams, but the school district insists the leave does not suggest the technicians did anything wrong. Instead, "it is a standard, prudent step in an investigation such as this one," the district said in a statement.
School officials say they have remotely activated 42 webcams in the past 14 months, but only in an attempt to recover lost or stolen laptops. However, even that practice has been suspended pending the outcome of the civil case and criminal investigations.