L.A. Unified Already Having Security Issues with $30M iPad Program

Students with iPadsWe’ve been following the Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) iPad program since we first heard that the second largest district in the nation was planning on giving an iPad to every one of its 600,000 students. After only a few weeks in action, the District is restricting iPad use due to unauthorized access to websites by more than 300 students.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News (Via: San Joes Mercury News), approximately 300 tech savvy students at Westchester High, Roosevelt High, and Valley Academy of Arts and Science figured out a way to bypass security measures which limited access to certain websites on District-issued iPads. Thanks to the burgeoning hackers, the District has banned students from taking the tablets home with them.

According to the District’s Chief Information Officer Ron Chandler, the students figured out how to alter settings and delete files, which gave them access to restricted sites like Facebook and YouTube. The iPads were also embedded with additional software that immediately locked down the devices and alerted officials that they had been tampered with.

The LAUSD had originally planned to keep the iPads on campus due to liability concerns, they ultimately decided to let each school’s principal regulate that. The District’s superintendent, John Deasy, ordered a moratorium on letting the devices off campus “until the district can be 100 percent certain that the problem has been resolved and students are using the devices safely and appropriately.”

This new issue brings to light the fact that younger generations are becoming more computer literate. Knowing that 300 students at three schools figured out a way to hack into their iPads makes me proud of our kids’ abilities. We should be pushing them toward a future in technology. These kids could be teaching us about computers.

About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik