Pa. school settles laptop webcam spying suits for $610,000

From The Chicago Tribune:

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia-area school district has agreed to pay $610,000 to settle two lawsuits over secret photos taken on school-issued laptops.

The Lower Merion School District admits it captured thousands of webcam photographs and screen shots from student laptops in a misguided effort to locate missing computers.

Harriton High School student Blake Robbins, then 15, charged in an explosive civil-rights lawsuit filed in February that the district used its remote tracking technology to spy on him inside his home. Later evidence unearthed in the case showed that he was photographed 400 times in a two-week period, sometimes as he slept in his bedroom, according to his lawyer, Mark Haltzman.

The settlement calls for $175,000 to be placed in a trust for Robbins and $10,000 for a second student who filed suit, Jalil Hassan. Their lawyer, Mark Haltzman, will get $425,000 for his work on the case.