Archive for privacy

School district admits installing covert webcam activation software on student laptops, denies wrongdoing

Posted in Legal issues with tags , , on 19 February 2010 by Steve

“The Superintendant of the Lower Merion School District – where parents have initiated a class action suit over the covert use of students’ laptops to surveil them in school and at home – has sent a letter to parents with more information about the spying. The school admits that there was spyware installed on students laptops that allowed for remote, covert activation of their webcams, but maintains that the measure was only to be used in the event of theft of the machine …” (more)

[Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing, 19 February]

A bar too far? Drunkenness off duty won’t do

Posted in Legal issues with tags , , on 1 October 2009 by Steve

UK“It may not constitute a grave threat to academic freedom, but the freedom of academics to get drunk in their own time is being curtailed at Cardiff University. A new policy that warns against drunken behaviour out of hours has led to complaints that managers are trying to impose a teetotal lifestyle on staff. Cardiff’s policy on the use of alcohol and drugs says: ‘Individuals are reminded that they should not behave outside work in a way that might bring the university into disrepute and bring into question suitability for the particular role held’ …” (more)

[Melanie Newman, Times Higher Education, 1 October]

Aggressive Plan for State Data Systems

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 28 September 2009 by Steve

USA“It has become an article of faith among many federal and especially state policy makers that the United States cannot possibly improve the performance of its higher education system without a significantly better way of collecting data about the performance of individual students and colleges. Advocates for better data have abandoned the idea of a federal ‘unit records’ system in the face of vocal opposition from private colleges, privacy advocates and many Republican lawmakers. But the notion that an alternative could potentially emerge by developing state student data systems and stitching them together into a ‘national’ network has taken hold with widespread backing …” (more)

[Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, 28 September]