When virtual education became ubiquitous at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, issues of student privacy on school-loaned devices rightly crept to the forefront of public conversation. A report we issued in September 2020 showed that most schools advise students they do not have any expectation of privacy when using these computers, which is a concern only compounded by the fact that most students were completing their virtual learning from inside the private home. We urged enactment of a bill which would have provided specific technological privacy protections for students – including a ban on surreptitious accessing of the computer microphone and camera – so that they do not have to be concerned about inappropriate intrusions of privacy while working on these computers. Unfortunately, though this bill passed the House, it died in committee in the Senate.
School-Loaned Computer Privacy (H 7563A & S 2436)
Representative June Speakman and Senator James Seveney
Passed House, Died in Senate