More details emerge in Lower Merion School District webcam case

    A Lower Merion School District employee embroiled in Harriton High School’s web-cam spying scandal says the student suing the district should not have expected privacy around his school-issued laptop.

    A Lower Merion School District employee embroiled in Harriton High School’s webcam spying scandal says the student suing the district should not have expected privacy around his school-issued laptop.

    A court filing by the employee’s attorney also says the student’s attorney has made harassing, inflammatory statements about her role in the case.

    Technology coordinator Carol Cafiero says plaintiff sophomore Blake Robbins had damaged two to three school-issued laptops and was not authorized to take one home. Cafiero’s attorney Charles Mandracchia says although parents may not have known about the district’s use of webcam photos to track missing computers, it was common knowledge among students.

    Mandracchia:

    I believe the student knew that by taking it home without authorization there’s a possibility that they could have used it. So, I think based on that he may have lost his legitimate expectation of privacy.

    Robbins is suing the school district in Montgomery County for taking photos of him at his home, including while he was asleep.

    Mandracchia says Cafiero had nothing to do with taking photos of Robbins. Robbins’s attorney has accused Cafiero of being a voyeur. Mandraccia calls those allegations “outrageous.” She is fighting attempts by the Robbins family to have access to her home computer. And in a court filing this week she denies claims that she may be a “voyeur.”

    Robbins sued the district in February over the remotely activated webcam pictures.

    Lower Merion acknowledges the program secretly captured more than 50,000 photographs and screen shots to track missing computers.

    The FBI is investigating possible criminal wiretap violations.

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