Re: Legality ?
>When there is no password set, VNC simply connects and shows the desktop. It is therefore available to the general public in exactly the same way that a public website is.
An unlocked car whilst foolish is not an invitation to hop in. An open front door is not an invitation to wander in and take a photo.
I suspect that the researchers are probably (in the IANAL sort of way) OK to establish a connection to these computers, but taking a screenshot is both unnecessary from their research point of view and moves well into privacy violation territory.