Specter introduces anti-video surveillance bill following Pa. laptop camera flap
School officials initially defended
both their decision and their technology, stressing the cameras were
merely a mechanism to track down stolen or abused laptops. Still,
countless parents have since excoriated the school district for what
they allege is a gross invasion of students’ privacy. The family of the student who was allegedly and unknowingly monitored
is also suing the school district for damages.
However, Specter noted at a hearing last month that federal rules do not explicitly address the family’s concerns about video surveillance. He said at the time that the “incident raises a question as to whether the law has kept up with
technology,” and he promised to pitch the legislation he ultimately debuted on Friday.
“Cameras in computers and cell phones are ubiquitous, making it urgent that the federal Wiretap Act protect our citizens from unwarranted intrusions in their homes where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy,” Specter said.