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If I plugged a portable harddrive into a school computer and the network admins had a look at it's contents without my permission, would that be grounds for a lawsuit? Viewing private data without consent...

Comments (11)

Did you ask for permission to plug the HHD into the school computer? I know if I had public PCs available, if anyone added to it, I will check to see what they are doing...

Comment #1

Yep, portable harddrives are allowed, checked with a teacher...

Comment #2

There might be a written rule somewhere about the use.

Of plugging in. It might be part of the agreement. If you plug.

In - they look. (They would call it "for the protection of") clause..

See if there is any " agreements " anywhere first...

Comment #3

While portable HDs may be allowed, check the acceptable usage policy. If any scanning of external HDs, flash drives, floppies, etc is being done, it should be mentioned somewhere in the school's computer use policies. In that case, you would have no recourse. If they are scanning without telling the users that their media may be scanned, then you may have the right to complain. As far as lawsuits go, personally I think this is pretty shaky grounds to base a lawsuit on. Use common sense - if you have something that you don't want others to see, don't put it somewhere where they could see it.

Simple solution: Don't keep anything incriminating, or anything you wouldn't want others to see on any media you use on a public or shared computer...

Comment #4

After looking up the 1998 Data Protection act, i've found that I could force the school to tell me if they were looking at my files. I'll just look for their computer policy..

Comment #5

Hey Michael, I think when you plugged it in, you gave them permission to look at it. Your plug in offically became part of the network that they manage. You could always password protect some of your private files. This way only you could get into them.


Comment #6

Tough's UK so I don't believe you will be protected by any privacy laws. Also I can see logical reasons why admins would look at content of any plugged in drives to ensure they are free of exploits, hacks, and viruses...

Comment #7

As a school network manager myself, I would hope that your school had you sign an acceptable user policy when you started there. This would explicitly give them the right, though as mentioned here already, I'm not sure they necessarily need it. But as also mentioned here already, get over it Don't make stuff accessible you don't want accessed!.


Comment #8

Mikor, take a look at this:

I use it on my 2GB USB drive. I have a 1GB virtual disk to store sensitive/private data (clients marketing info and projects). I mount it when I'm working on files, and access it as if it was another drive by typing a (long) password. It uses powerful enough encryption algorithms. That way if it gets lost or stolen, my information isn't compromised...

Comment #9

Who could be wrong, you know.

Why not check with the ones who manage the computer/s you're hoping to.

Hook up your hard drive?..

Comment #10

You plugged it into THEIR network. You had no reasonable expectation of privacy in a data storage device that you connected to someone else's machine...

Comment #11

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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