Will Webcam Surveillance Cause Privacy Concerns?

By: John Honovich, Published on Feb 21, 2010

In the future, there will almost certainly be more webcams in laptops and smartphones than their are surveillance cameras. If those cameras are activated or transformed into surveillance devices, they will have a dramatic impact on society.

In Pennsylvania, USA, a surprising example of this is being displayed. Both the police and the FBI are investigating whether a school illegally activated webcams on student's laptops to monitor them in their homes. Read the lawsuit filed in courtWatch the video below for an overview of the situation:

From our review of the public information, it appears that the school agrees that it had software that it could active remotely to monitor laptops but the goal was only to use it on stolen laptops. The student suing claims otherwise. In an audio recording, the Assistant Principal of the school dramatically and vehemently denied the claim [link no longer available].

If the claims are true, it's clear against both laws and ethics in most countries. The claims are so egregious it's unlikely that many will overtly try this practice.

That being said, other schools use similar techniques. See the video below from a teacher demonstrating how they use it:

As video becomes easier to share outside of the local site, processes and technology to restrict its unauthorized access will become increasingly important.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

UK Fines Security Firms For Illegal Direct Marketing on Jan 16, 2019
Two UK security firms have paid over $200,000 in fines for illegally making hundreds of thousands of calls to people registered on a government...
US City Sued For Hiding Surveillance Camera Map on Mar 08, 2019
UPDATE: The judgment is now in and updated information is at the bottom of the post. Should maps of public surveillance camera locations be kept...
Large US University End-User Video Surveillance Interview on Mar 18, 2019
Schools have become targets in modern days of active shooters and terrorist fears. The need for video and access security is high. Universities...
Casino Security Consultant Carl Lindgren Interview on Mar 26, 2019
For more than 20 years, Carl Lindgren [link no longer available] worked as a casino surveillance pro, while being active (and sometimes outspoken)...
NJ Law Requires Apprenticeship For Public Works Integrators on May 24, 2019
Few integrators do a formal apprenticeship program. However, now a NJ law is requiring any integrator on public works projects (such as state...
Verkada Wins $783,000 Memphis Deal on Apr 29, 2019
The US city, most famous in video surveillance for standardizing on Hikvision, has issued an RFQ for 962 Verkada cameras due Wednesday, May 1,...
Kidnapping Victim Rescued With Video From Ring Doorbell Camera on May 24, 2019
A kidnapping victim was rescued within 24 hours, with the police crediting video from a Ring Doorbell camera as key to solving the case. A girl was...
TMA Apologizes to Amazon / Ring on Aug 23, 2019
Not only is Amazon / Ring making major incursions into the residential security market, the organization representing the biggest incumbents, The...
France Declares School Facial Recognition Illegal Due to GDPR on Oct 31, 2019
France is the latest European country to effectively prohibit facial recognition as a school access control solution, even with the consent of...
IPVM Opens 12,000 Sqft Testing Facility on Dec 16, 2019
IPVM is proud to announce the opening of the world's first video surveillance testing facility that will allow us to significantly expand our...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Intersec 2020 Show Report on Jan 20, 2020
IPVM is in Dubai for Intersec, the Middle East's largest security conference. In this report, we cover the main booths and issues out of the...
Clearview AI Alarm - NY Times Report Says "Might End Privacy" on Jan 20, 2020
Over the weekend, the NY Times released a report titled "The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It" about a company named...
Favorite Camera Manufacturer 2020 on Jan 20, 2020
The past 2 years of US bans and sanctions have shaken the video surveillance industry but what impact would this have on integrators' favorite...
Severely Impacted Mercury Security 2020 Leap Year Firmware Issue on Jan 17, 2020
One of the largest access controller manufacturers has a big problem: February 29th. Mercury Security, owned by HID, is alerting partners of the...
Apple Acquires XNOR.ai, Loss For The Industry on Jan 16, 2020
Apple has acquired XNOR.ai for $200 million, reports GeekWire. This is a loss for the video surveillance industry. XNOR.ai stunned the industry...
Installation Course January 2020 - Last Chance on Jan 16, 2020
Thursday, January 16th is your last chance to register for the Winter 2020 Video Surveillance Installation Course. This is a unique installation...
Halo Smart Vape Detector Tested on Jan 16, 2020
The Halo Smart Sensor claims to detect vaping, including popular brand Juul and even THC vapes. But how well does it work in real world...
PRC Government Entity Now Controlling Shareholder of Infinova / March Networks on Jan 16, 2020
A PRC government entity is now the controlling shareholder of US security manufacturer Infinova as well as its wholly-owned subsidiary March...
Network Cabling for Video Surveillance on Jan 15, 2020
In this guide, we explain the fundamentals of network cabling for video surveillance networks, how they should be installed, and the differences in...
ONVIF [Un]Trashed Statement, Confirms Dahua and Hikvision Still Suspended on Jan 15, 2020
ONVIF has 'trashed' the suspension statement for Dahua, Hikvision, Huawei, etc. but confirms to IPVM that those companies are all still...