US school settles 2 webcam spy lawsuits for $610K

October 12, 2010 03:50

PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia-area school district will 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.The district is settling lawsuits filed this year by Lower Merion High School student Blake Robbins and a second student. Robbins says the district photographed him 400 times in a two-week period, sometimes as he slept in his bedroom.

District officials say they voted Monday night to pay Robbins $175,000 and his lawyer, Mark Haltzman, $425,000 for his work on the case. A second student will get $10,000.

The FBI investigated but declined to bring a criminal wiretap case.

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