School used student laptop webcams to spy on them at school and home – via BoingBoing. This is absolutely ludicrous. A school issues laptops to its kids, then proceeds to use those laptops to spy on them while they’re at home. And apparently in one instance, even disciplined a kid for something that they did at home.
This is beyond horrifying. You can argue that personal privacy is a changing landscape right now, as society adjusts to the realities of new social media and the basic fact that on the internet, nothing is ever truly dead. That’s why you get messes where commentary on Facebook causes trouble or stupid use of social media gets you fired. There are arguments that can be made on either side for that kind of thing1. But using a laptop to spy on someone – anyone – in their own home is something I’d hope anyone that’s not on a fascist big brother-esque power trip can agree is beyond the pale.
“We noticed you checking out some stoner sites, so we’ve informed your parents that you’re doing pot and will be suspending you. Oh, and those were some cute panties you had on yesterday.”
I’d be calling myself paranoid, except that it’s actually happened. It’s apparently time to take the tinfoil off of your head and put it on your laptop instead.
1 – I am solidly on the side of “it’s none of your damn business what I do outside of work/school as long as I’m in no way representing the company/school.”