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Thread: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

  1. #31
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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Quote Originally Posted by Rassales View Post
    Looking at both articles about this case, I don't think your assertions here are valid. First, according to the OP link, the district has admitted to using the remote camera function "42 times in 14 months." Their denial looks like this: In other words, they have not used the remote camera function to deliberately spy on anyone, but they may have used what they found from their 42 times to confront a student about drug use.
    And they've said that the function was only used when a laptop was lost or stolen. If that's true, then it wasn't used improperly in this case.

    The idea that the school "most certainly" found the alleged drug use on the boy's website indicates that the school goes trolling through student FB pages, which sounds like a poor use of administrators' time. I'm not sure the off-campus behavior of a student is that much the business of the school, either.
    All of which might be true, but this is nevertheless a relatively common thing and doesn't have any of the same privacy implications - it was a publicly available facebook page.

    In any case, if there was no disciplinary action contemplated, and the school administrators were just warning this boy and his parents that he was smoking pot on his FB page, it doesn't make sense for them to sue and turn the incident into a class action suit, does it?
    Lost of lawsuits don't make sense.

    Finally, the fact that the school district has discontinued the policy says something about the advisability of the policy, no?
    I don't really think so - it says more about the public's tendency to get hysterical when confronted with outlandish claims and things it doesn't understand.
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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    And they've said that the function was only used when a laptop was lost or stolen. If that's true, then it wasn't used improperly in this case.
    Except to find a stolen laptop, assuming that WAS needed, a remote camera, looking into one's homes is not really that practical - GPS chips would make much more sense, and be much more kosher.

    In either case, if we put merit into the kid's story, then the school is in a world of ****. They told him up front that they watched him through the camera, then backtracked very sloppily.

    Let's see what happens.
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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Quote Originally Posted by Travelsonic View Post
    Except to find a stolen laptop, assuming that WAS needed, a remote camera, looking into one's homes is not really that practical - GPS chips would make much more sense, and be much more kosher.
    The service doesn't use GPS - it uses the computer's IP connection to determine location and uses the camera to see who has it. As far as I know, the tracking software on my computer automatically does both if I report it stolen.

    In either case, if we put merit into the kid's story, then the school is in a world of ****. They told him up front that they watched him through the camera, then backtracked very sloppily.

    Let's see what happens.
    I agree that the case should play itself out, I'm just a bit leery of publicity-seeking lawsuits that are filed without much evidence and which have much simpler explanations.
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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    And they've said that the function was only used when a laptop was lost or stolen. If that's true, then it wasn't used improperly in this case.
    If you'd said the district was providing what might be a plausible alternative explanation, I wouldn't say anything. You made counter claims just as strong as the plaintiff's, and implied the suit is certainly all crap.
    All of which might be true, but this is nevertheless a relatively common thing and doesn't have any of the same privacy implications - it was a publicly available facebook page.
    Yes, but if that's the case (and the parents know it) then there's no basis for continuing with the suit. All this will do is draw more attention to their child's wrongdoing.
    Lost of lawsuits don't make sense.
    And some do. Prejudging the case as you do (and in the favor of authority, no less) only reflects badly on your analysis.
    I don't really think so - it says more about the public's tendency to get hysterical when confronted with outlandish claims and things it doesn't understand.
    In our nation, authorities should always be suspect.

    If your suppositions about this case are correct, the authorities handled this case rather badly. If school authorities come to parents and say "look, your child is smoking pot and then putting photos of himself on the internet," they have to do something stupid AFTER that to persuade parents that it's a good idea to pay for a lawyer and sue over a policy having nothing to do with the situation, particularly when the evidence will prove them wrong.

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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Quote Originally Posted by Rassales View Post
    If you'd said the district was providing what might be a plausible alternative explanation, I wouldn't say anything. You made counter claims just as strong as the plaintiff's, and implied the suit is certainly all crap.
    Yes, but if that's the case (and the parents know it) then there's no basis for continuing with the suit. All this will do is draw more attention to their child's wrongdoing.
    And some do. Prejudging the case as you do (and in the favor of authority, no less) only reflects badly on your analysis.
    In our nation, authorities should always be suspect.

    If your suppositions about this case are correct, the authorities handled this case rather badly. If school authorities come to parents and say "look, your child is smoking pot and then putting photos of himself on the internet," they have to do something stupid AFTER that to persuade parents that it's a good idea to pay for a lawyer and sue over a policy having nothing to do with the situation, particularly when the evidence will prove them wrong.
    I'm prejudging the case in favor of authority because an authority is inherently credible when it provides comprehensive and easily verifiable answers to as-yet unfounded allegations. The school has said explicitly that the laptops were only turned on a very few times and only for the purpose of finding missing computers. It has also categorically denied that the photos in question came from the remote picture-taking feature. Since all of this can be verified easily during discovery, the school has little to no incentive to lie.

    I'm being realistic about the fact that in many, many cases, lawsuits are filed without merit.
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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Quote Originally Posted by Partisan View Post
    Is it a mandate that you take the school issued laptop home?.....
    If not, could that be construed as an 'invitation' to enter the home?.....
    I'll bet some of those tapes are pretty interesting....
    No, it cannot be construed as an invitation to enter a private dwelling and gather incriminating evidence. Especially if no notification was given that the laptop could be activated remotely.

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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    I'm prejudging the case in favor of authority because an authority is inherently credible
    I think we can stop right there. Authorities are no more credible in their claims than is anyone else. They said they didn't do something--and you take that as proof?

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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Quote Originally Posted by Rassales View Post
    I think we can stop right there. Authorities are no more credible in their claims than is anyone else. They said they didn't do something--and you take that as proof?
    That's not what he said at all. He said that the authority has offered explanation where the accuser has offered none.

    Right now, the score stands one for the school, zip for the pot smoking student with pictures of his pot smoking plastered on facebook.

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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Quote Originally Posted by Rassales View Post
    I think we can stop right there. Authorities are no more credible in their claims than is anyone else. They said they didn't do something--and you take that as proof?
    Joe Smith sues Bank of America, alleging that they stole $1m out of his account and are now pretending that he never had it. Bank of America releases a statement saying that they have reviewed his statements and can say categorically that nothing like that ever happened.

    You're telling me that in that scenario, you're still 50-50 as to who's probably telling the truth?
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    Re: Suit: Pa. school used webcams to spy on students

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Joe Smith sues Bank of America, alleging that they stole $1m out of his account and are now pretending that he never had it. Bank of America releases a statement saying that they have reviewed his statements and can say categorically that nothing like that ever happened.

    You're telling me that in that scenario, you're still 50-50 as to who's probably telling the truth?
    Well, in that scenario, considering it's Bank of America and they've been known to try to foreclose on houses that they never even had the mortgage on, yeah, I would be 50/50 on that one.

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