Webcams have transformed entertainment, medicine, home security, and many other fields. But they have also been used to spy on people in shocking ways. Hundreds of thousands of people have been the target of surreptitious remote webcam activation, yet there has been no meaningful legislative response to the problem.
In Digital Peepholes, a new report from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, Distinguished Professor Lori Andrews and attorneys Michael Holloway and Dan Massoglia document the risk and propose policy solutions.
The two-year investigation undertaken by faculty, students, and legal fellows at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law uncovered the following:
— Everyone is vulnerable to being spied on through their webcams.
— The FBI has asked that federal laws be changed so that law enforcement can use people’s webcams to gather evidence about what crimes people may be committing through or near their computers.
— One company alone installed remote activation technology on 400,000 rental computers and photographed its customers having sex, gambling online, and searching the Internet.
— Existing laws do not protect people sufficiently.
Digital Peepholes offers policy recommendations to protect people’s rights on the web. The comprehensive policy paper is available without charge at www.ckprivacy.org.
IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law has been at the forefront of issues arising at the convergence of technology and the law since the creation of the mainframe. The CK Privacy program at IIT Chicago-Kent provides an opportunity for students, faculty members, policymakers, and the public to assess the ways in which technologies present new challenges to privacy and data protection, as well as to develop technical and legal ways to better ensure privacy and improve data protection.