With ‘Anti-Big Brother Act,’ N.J. moves to prevent school spying on kids

The New Jersey Senate has passed what’s being called “The Anti-Big Brother Act.”

The bill was drafted in response to a suburban Philadelphia school district’s monitoring of students in their homes by remotely activating cameras on school-issued laptops.

Sen. Donald Norcross is the primary sponsor of the legislation that would require parents to get written notification when schools furnish students with electronic devices that could monitor their activities.

“I know if I found out my children were being spied on or listened to without their permission, we would have a major issue, and that’s what we’re trying to avoid,” said Norcross, D-Camden.

Schools that give students the devices and fail to provide the form for parents to sign could be fined $250.

“We have so many new devices that just a decade ago we never had to deal with,” Norcross said. “Now they can view each other, they can record each other, they can track them, and I think it’s every parent’s right to know what a child is bringing home.”

Gov. Chris Christie has not indicated whether he would sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

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