As students largely transitioned to virtual education over the past year 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 last September 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 and comprehensive 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 intrusions of privacy while working on these computers. Unfortunately, the bill died in committee in both the House and the Senate.
School-Loaned Computer Privacy (H 5700, S 32)
Representative June Speakman and Senator James Seveney