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School accused of spying on students says Webcams were used only on missing laptops

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Pennsylvania school district that allegedly spied on students at home via school-issued computers says it only activated the webcams to find missing laptops.

Lower Merion School District Superintendent Christopher McGinley says the schools' technology and security departments would activate the webcam when student laptops were lost or stolen. McGinley says the cameras were never activated for other purposes.

A federal lawsuit filed this week by student Blake Robbins and his parents accuses the school of electronic spying. He says a school administrator told him the camera had caught him doing something inappropriate at home.

Privacy lawyers say the district's actions could amount to illegal wiretapping.

The affluent suburban Philadelphia district issues laptops to all 2,300 students in two high schools.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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