Lawsuit: Summary On February 11 th, 2010: Robbins (a 15 year old student at Harriton High School) filed a civil-rights lawsuit against the Lower Merion School District. The civil-rights lawsuit involved not only Robbins and his family, but all of the 2,300 students in the Lower Merion School District. The lawsuit maintained that the LMSD had violated the IV Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (right to privacy) and the Civil Rights Act.
Lawsuit: Conclusion October 11 th, 2010: LMSD settled 2 cases in the Laptop Privacy Lawsuit LMSD settled for $610,000.00 Blake Robbins was awarded $175,000.00 Jalil Hassan, a second student who filed suit, was awarded $10,000.00 Mark Haltzman, their lawyer, was awarded $425,000.00
Theft Prevention vs. Invasion of Privacy Theft Prevention: Regarding the issue of security, LMSD had this to say, the laptops do contain a security feature intended to track lost, stolen and missing laptops Invasion of Privacy: Julie Reiff, a student at Lower Merion, had this to say, It freaks me out because what if Im home and Im just changing to go to sleep and my computers open, are they going to take a picture of it and say Im doing something illegal?
Was it worth it? It cost the Lower Merion School District $610,000.00 of taxpayers money to settle the Laptop Privacy Lawsuit. The security feature on the webcams have since been deactivated on all laptops owned by the school district. The bottom line: Do students feel any safer now than before the privacy issue was brought to attention? That is up to the students to decide and come to terms with.
References Bonus, Angelica. "Pennsylvania School District Settles Laptop Privacy Lawsuit - CNN." CNN.com. Cable News Network, 12 Oct. 2010. Web. 16 Nov. 2010.. Dale, Maryclaire. "Official: FBI Probing Pa. School Webcam Spy Case." Abcnews.go.com. ABC News, 19 Feb. 2010. Web. 16 Nov. 2010.. Dale, Maryclaire. "Pa. School Settles 2 Webcam Spy Lawsuits for $610K - Yahoo! News." News.yahoo.com. The Associated Press, 12 Oct. 2010. Web. 16 Nov. 2010.. Masterson, Teresa. "School Spies on Students at Home With Webcams: Suit." NBC Philadelphia. NBC Universal, 18 Feb. 2010. Web. 16 Nov. 2010.. Pinto, Megan. "ACLU: Lower Merion Lawsuit Seems like Clear Privacy Violation | News and Information." WHYY.org. WHYY, 18 Feb. 2010. Web. 16 Nov. 2010..