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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ohio Teacher Had Naked Images Captured Off a Stolen Computer She Bought by a Tracking Company, Can Sue

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 4:30 PM

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52-year-old substitute teacher and widower Susan Clements-Jeffrey had no reason to expect anything but complete privacy as she sat naked in front of her computer back in 2008 chatting and exchanging images with her former high school sweetheart who was in Boston. Well, she'd have to trust that from her spot in Ohio, the man would be trustworthy with what she was sending him, and he was.

The problem came from a third party, a tracking company that had been watching her online action remotely, including the nude moments. Not only had they seen them, they had captured images.

It all started when Clements-Jeffrey bought the laptop. Not from Best Buy or Apple but from one of her student in the Clark County School District. He had told her he'd gotten a new computer and didn't need it anymore. In reality, he had bought it off another student who had bought it at a bus station for $40, and if you trace the laptop's history back further, it had belonged to that same Clark County School District. It was stolen. Clements-Jeffrey says she did not know that.

Clark County contracts with Absolute Software, which installs software on your computer to track the device if it is stolen. You'd imagine this includes tracking locations and IP addresses in an attempt to recover the property. What you probably didn't guess is that Absolute Software grabbed the sexually explicit private images and passed them onto police along with the location data.

This, shockingly, did not sit well with Clements-Jeffrey and her boyfriend, who tried to take Absolute Software to court for violating their privacy. Wired reports that Absolute countered, but last week U.S. District Judge Walter Rice ruled against the company, meaning they'll have to explain why capturing the naked images was integral to recovery the stolen property when Clements-Jeffrey sues. They'll probably have a hard time doing so.

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