Big Brother Comes to the Main Line.

Philadelphia’s Main Line. It conjures up images of blue bloods, The Philadelphia Story and, of course, Kobe Bryant who graduated from Merion High School. The communities of the Main Line are so well off that they decided to give all high school students a free laptop so as to level the academic playing field. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, for starters, the computers had webcams. And the webcams could be activated remotely. So, when school officials believed that “improper” behavior was afoot, they did what any good sleuth would do — they turned on the webcams, so they could see what their students were doing. This just might have gone unnoticed except that school officials decided to confront the students whom they believed had acted improperly using their webcam spying as evidence. This did not sit well with students and a federal class action lawsuit in Philadelphia has resulted.

It sure gives a whole new real world impact to the “big brother” world of Huxley and Orwell that all high school students must familiarize themselves with. Property tax increases (to defend the lawsuit) and insurance claims by the school district will surely follow.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Bob Cosgrove at rcosgrove@wcmlaw.com.

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