A good friend of this Blog, Brett Trout, has provided information about what appears to me to be a very questionable situation in Pennsylvania. A school district issues laptop computers to students. The computers contain web cams. The school district does not advise that the web cams can be activated remotely by school officials. That occurs. After a school official activates a web cam on a computer, the student is observed in the family home doing something to which school officials object. The student is confronted by school officials about his conduct.
A lawsuit has been filed in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs, Blake Robbins and his parents, seek a class certification to pursue a variety of claims against the school district. Among the claims asserted are invasion of privacy, violation of civil rights, and violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution (which provides that the people are to be secure in their persons and property and government may search only upon a showing of probable cause.).
This situation raises some very serious Constitutional questions, including the right of the government to place electronic devices in private homes and to observe actions and activities that when they are behind the closed doors of the home are considered to be private and free from government interference.