School Used Student Webcams to Spy on Them

Ever have the feeling that you're being watched? With built-in webcams now bring standard on most laptops, sitting there, staring straight at you opposite the LCD screen, one might feel paranoid about voyeurs.

Such fears may not be completely irrational, however, as a student is suing his school in Philadelphia for remotely activating his webcam, reported Boing Boing. The remote activation of his webcam was exposed when student Blake J. Robbins was disciplined for "improper behavior in his home" by the Vice Principal, who provided a photo taken by the webcam as evidence.

Gizmodo supposedly heard from some of the students involved in the class action suit. One said that his 2008 MacBook's camera light would turn on at random.

Frequently, the green lights next to our iSight webcams will turn on. The school district claims that this is just a glitch. We are all doubting this now.

Another student added:

I questioned the IT guy about why it was happening he said that it was because people logged out when an application using the camera was on, he also stated that they could in fact go and look through your webcam it would just violate the fifth [amendment] and that's why they didn't.

More as it happens.

Marcus Yam is a technology evangelist for Intel Corporation, the latest in a long line of tech-focused roles spanning a more than 20-year career in the industry. As Executive Editor, News on Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, Marcus was responsible for shaping the sites' news output, and he also spent a period as Editor of Outdoors & Sports at Digital Trends.