online living and the 4th amendment

Now that webcams and online living has become the norm, what are the boundaries for different activities? Certainly a lot of talk about companies monitoring workers. Along with changes in the workplace, the education sector has seen massive changes in what it means to “go to school.”

While stories of zoomboming and checking out of lectures have been common, exams have perhaps the highest stakes as tests and cheating have been at odds for centuries. As schools and testing agencies struggled with how to move to virtual exams, the definition of proctoring evolved with it. One strategy was to have students allow a video scan of their testing environment (e.g. bedroom). A chemistry student at Cleveland State University felt that was violating his 4th amendment right to privacy. So he took them to court. And won.

This case is probably the tip of the iceberg as we move into increasingly digital living. The metaverse, as currently envisioned, will no doubt generate myriad legal challenges, particularly as both private companies and governments vie for interactions and the associated data. The courts will be busy…

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