The spying came to light when the school tried to discipline one student for alleged drug dealing at home.
The district admitted that thousands of photos had been taken of dozens of students, and settled the cases for 0,000.
Her little sister, Suzy, was doing the same thing down the hall.
The house was quiet, save the keyboard tapping in the girls' rooms, when the odd little instant message popped up on Melissa's screen—an IM from Suzy.
The same year, a Wyoming couple sued the national rent-to-own chain Aaron's after the company used the webcam on a rented computer to spy on the couple.
The couple's final payment on the computer hadn't been recorded, and a repossession man who showed up at their house to seize the computer provided the webcam photo as evidence that the couple still had it.
“It was agreed that the legalities of such a capability would be considered once it had been developed, but that the general principle applied would be that if the accuracy of the algorithm was such that it was useful to the analyst,” one document from 2008 reads.
For the next couple of weeks, the girls remained watchful for malware, insidious software capable of wreaking all sorts of havoc.
But with no sign of trouble on their machines—no slow performance, no deleted files, no alerts from antivirus programs—they pretty much forgot about it. Suzy, Melissa, and Nila went about their lives online and off.
It is unclear exactly how much information was obtained using Optic Nerve.
However, in six months in 2008, images were obtained from more than 1.8 million Yahoo! Civil liberty campaigners expressed horror at the scale of the surveillance of people who were not suspected of a crime. , which said it had not been aware of the surveillance, said the revelations represented “a whole new level of violation of our users’ privacy”.