"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

RFID Chips in Students and Longitudinal Data Systems...Is this Tracking Really "For the Kids"?

Your child's new school picture?

All is not well for a Texas school's plan to track students via RFID chips...the same chips used to track cattle.  From WND:

A rebellion is developing in Texas against a plan by a school district in San Antonio that would monitor the exact location and activities of all students at all times through RFID chips they are being ordered to wear.

A “position paper” from groups including the American Civil Liberties Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Big Brother Watch, Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, Constitutional Alliance, Freedom Force International, Friends of Privacy USA, the Identity Project and Privacy Activism said no students should be subjected to the “chipping” program “unless there is sufficient evidence of its safety and effectiveness.”

“Children should never be used as test subjects for technology, no matter what their socio-economic status. If schools choose to move forward without complete information and are willing to accept the associated liability, they should have provisions in place to adhere to the principles of fair information practices and respect individuals’ rights to opt out based on their conscientious and religious objections,” the statement said.

The San Antonio plan was reported by Spychips, a website run by RFID expert Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre.

“San Antonio’s Northside Independent School District plans to incorporate RFID tags into mandatory student ID cards. One school district in Brazil has incorporated the tracking tags into uniforms. In both cases, the goal is to keep students, teachers and staff under constant surveillance,” the report said.

“RFID is used to track factory inventory and monitor farm animals,” said Albrecht, director of CASPIAN and co-author of “Spychips.” “Schools, of all places, should be teaching children how to participate in a free democratic society, not conditioning them to be tracked like cattle. Districts planning to use RFID should brace themselves for a parent backlash, protests, and lawsuits.”

According to the San Antonio newspaper, all students in the district’s John Jay High School and Anson Jones Middle School would be subject to chipping.

At that point, Supt. Brian Woods said, “We want to harness the power of (the) technology to make schools safer, know where our students are all the time in a school, and increase revenues. … Parents expect that we always know where their children are, and this technology will help us do that.”

WOAI television reported district spokesman Pasqual Gonzalez said the two schools have a high rate of truancy, and the district could gain $2 million in state funding by improving attendance.

Did you read in the district's statements that this technology is being used to improve education and learning?  No, it's for classroom management and for more money to the district.  Longitudinal data is to be used to provide workforce information to employers, not so much to improve education.  This data is for human capital management and monetary gain,  just as the RFID chipping will produce.

Tracking human capital through RFD chips and tracking students via the Longitudinal Data System sets requesting over 300 pieces of data from students and families should raise serious legal and ethical issues.  The RFID student chipping is a school district decision while longitudinal data system information will be gathered due to the Common Core standards being implemented.

Where's the outcry from these privacy groups about this invasive data gathering?  If  “children should never be used as test subjects for technology, no matter what their socio-economic status", neither should their educational and personal data be used for their suitability for specific jobs in the workforce.

Children are not cattle, neither are they capital to be groomed for workforce needs.

Link here for the RFID School Position Paper against chipping students. 

Here's an excerpt about chipping children from Would You Implant Your Child With a Tracking Device?

Implanting a tracking device into our children is merely an invasion of privacy and alienation of human rights. If it's allowed by the parents, where would it stop? School coaches would need to make sure their athletes aren't getting into trouble. Government employees should definitely be kept on a tight leash so they don't divulge secrets. We wouldn't want them to keep unsavory company.

Perhaps we could include a low-volt shock to correct bad behavior. Don't make faces at your sister, Johnny. Finish your homework, Martha. Watch your language. Change your clothes. I don't like your hairstyle. Fix it. Fix it! FIX IT!

Where would it stop? The crazy idea that we can protect our children by belittling them, by lowering their status to the same classifications that we give farm animals and pets is ridiculous, insulting, and demeaning.

Let's put an dog collar on you and place you inside an electric fence for a week. Then you can tell me how great it was that no one snatched you out of your yard. Sure, you wouldn't be able to go out to coffee with your friends, but you'd be safe. You'd have to send people out to run errands for you, but you'd be safe. You might miss out on some great adventures, but, you know, at least you'd be safe.

1 comment:

  1. http://rfidinschools.com links to a fascinating article titled: "Military Systems compatible with Tracking Student Locator RFID," which should probably give just about anybody pause to consider.

    Are we proposing spending ludicrous sums of money to "Keep Children Safe?" Apparently not. "These systems go beyond the capacity to monitor student attendance, some schools have already used this data to study social peer relationships – who spends time with whom. These RFID systems use the same frequency as a global US/NATO- military system for tracking assets, tracking tags of this frequency to within positional accuracy of 1 meter."

    ----- http://rfidinschools.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/433-mhz-military-systems-compatible-with-tracking-student-locator-rfid.pdf


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