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Reading, Writing, RFID 650

Posted by michael
from the lockdown dept.
supabeast! writes "Wired has a story about a public charter school in Buffalo that now tracks student attendence with mandatory RFID tags. The school's director said 'All this relates to safety and keeping track of kids...Eventually it will become a monitoring tool for us..' In the future the system will expand to '...track library loans, disciplinary records, cafeteria purchases and visits to the nurse's office...punctuality...and to verify the time [students] get on and off school buses.' I think that we can all stop calling the privacy advocates paranoid now."
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Reading, Writing, RFID

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  • by BJZQ8 (644168) on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:31PM (#7303274) Homepage Journal
    Kids in schools are already treated to an all-day tracking with security cameras virtually everywhere but the toilets...and maybe there too...
    • I can just imagine the 911 call now... "Johnny is missing! His RFID tag reports that he's moving slowly underneath the school and...into the sewer? Quick, get a K9 out here now!"
  • by SirSlud (67381)
    1984?
    • by helix400 (558178) on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:52PM (#7303565) Journal
      If they were scanning you passively, I'd say, ya, it's bordering on 1984. But it's passive.

      Students have to touch a kiosk screen and then, it can only read your tag at less than 20 inches. So, this makes it just another form of swiping a mag-strip card for access control, or presenting a photo ID badge to a security guard. Having been a teacher, I can tell you this would be wonderful. Automating the roll taking process would save lots of time each class period dealing with absent, late, and excused kids.

      Now, in my opinion, they are going a bit overboard with tracking lots of unnecessary information, such as when they boarded the bus. And even with this being just another form of card swiping, all this electronic tracking may still ruffle privacy activists feathers. But one things for sure, it's definitely not 1984.
      • by zurab (188064)

        If they were scanning you passively, I'd say, ya, it's bordering on 1984. But it's passive.

        For now. For how long? These are small details, small details can change - the principle is in place.

        Students have to touch a kiosk screen and then, it can only read your tag at less than 20 inches. So, this makes it just another form of swiping a mag-strip card for access control, or presenting a photo ID badge to a security guard. Having been a teacher, I can tell you this would be wonderful. Automating the roll

  • by mobiux (118006)
    Tell me why keeping track of children in a school is such bad thing?
    • Because RFID gets around the aluminum foil hats.
    • Precisely my reaction. Why do you want to bring up privacy into everything!!??
    • by Valdrax (32670) on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:34PM (#7303327)
      Because we get them used to and comfortable with the concept of the government tracking their every movement when they grow up. If we don't imbue in their mind the wrongess of this being done to them, they'll be totally prepared and calmly waiting for when the next megalomaniac in charge gets the idea to finally implement the Big Brother society that will be the end of democracy.

      If you're really unlucky, you might still be alive when that happens.
      • I don't know, kids understand the conditioning we give them that drugs are bad, and ignore it. They understand and accept that they can't, drink, drive, vote, or join the military until a specific age. Trust me, kids will both understand and know that tracking them is a violation of the rights of an adult. However, it's very important that kids learn that kids aren't adults, and they don't have the rights adults have. They get them as they earn them.

        I've got no problem with them using them. I've got

        • by pmz (462998)
          However, it's very important that kids learn that kids aren't adults, and they don't have the rights adults have.

          No, children have every right that adults have. It is up to adults to teach children how to live within those rights responsibly.
          • by ComputerSlicer23 (516509) on Friday October 24, 2003 @04:52PM (#7304244)
            No children do NOT have all the rights adults have. Children do not have the right to vote. Children do not have the right to enter into a legally binding contract. Children do not have the right to drive a car. Children do not have the right to consume alchol. Children do not have the same rights in a court of law. Children do not have the right to make several determinations for themselves (which parent to live with in a divorce, weather or not they want to go to public school, what forms of medical treatment they will accept). Children do not have the right to own a gun, or get a carry concel permit for one.

            Rights come with responsibilities. Children are inheriently irresponsible, precisely because they are children, thus they lack rights. Until they come of an age to take care of the associated repsonibilities they do NOT have the rights an adult has.

            You live in fantasy land if you truely believe children have every right an adult does.

            Even the Bill of Rights is limited in it's application to children.

            It is the job of the child to earn those responsibilites, and the adults should nuture and enable the child to be able to handle responsibilities. However, should the parent not do so, the child is at fault when they come of majority age if they do not appropriately live withing the rights and responsibilities.

            A child should learn to deal with those rights and responsibilites irrespective of the parents and the upbringing they receive. The fault lies with the child, not with the parent. While we may condemn the parent for the lack of parenting, when the child becomes an adult, it is the former child whom is punished, not the adult that failed to instruct the child.

            Kirby

            • by pmz (462998)

              The laws regarding participation in government are relevant to the operation of government and not so much to individual liberty. The other laws regarding cars, alcohol, and guns are merely naive attempts at protecting chilren from responsibility and only postpone the inevitable lessons they will learn about life. These laws actually are only subtly different to what is going on with the RFID tracking devices. The RFID tags are just one more way to subjugate children into a second-class.

              Further, the age
        • by nmos (25822)
          I don't know, kids understand the conditioning we give them that drugs are bad, and ignore it. They understand and accept that they can't, drink, drive, vote, or join the military until a specific age.

          Telling kids that "drugs are bad" a couple times per year is in no way the same as tracking their movements continuously.

          Trust me, kids will both understand and know that tracking them is a violation of the rights of an adult. However, it's very important that kids learn that kids aren't adults, and they
    • by SirSlud (67381) on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:35PM (#7303342) Homepage
      I guess because if you have technology that prevents you technologically from being irresponsible, you can never learn how to be responsible?

      What happens when they get out? "Wicked, I'm not being tracked anymore! I can do whatever I want to do, consequence free!"

      I have strong feelings about technology 'absolving' humans from learning about responsibility and accoutability, and the merits of making the right choice when you're not forced at RFID-tag-point to do so.
      • by Ugmo (36922) on Friday October 24, 2003 @05:11PM (#7304382)

        What happens when they get out? "Wicked, I'm not being tracked anymore! I can do whatever I want to do, consequence free!"




        This line arguement reminds me about my experience in the Air Force. After basic training, where they tell you when to sleep, when to get up, when to eat, what to wear and when to take a dump, you go to Tech School for training. They used to just let you do whatever you wanted once you got to tech school, but it was just like SirSlud said, everyone went batshit insane, ran into town and partook in general mayhem and too much merriment. They had to put a system in place so that you were slowly given back one freedom after another in phases. In phase one you could wear civilian clothes but only inside. Phase two you could wear them outside but you couldn't get off base. I don't remember all the stages but it took six weeks to get to "normal" freedom.



        To try to get on topic again, we could say that it is human nature to react to oppression and ill-treatment in exact magnitude in the opposite direction. When people are subjected to extreme controls they will act in an uncontrolled manner when let free. When they are overly controlled, they will expect to be able to control others in like manner once they get in charge. I hope none of those kids gets elected President or to Congress. They will think that it is perfectly all right to try to control the rest of the population the way they were controlled and would probably use all the tools (violence) at their disposal to deal with the "unreasonable" (from their point of view) people who protest.

    • Because as far as /. is concerned RFID == evil.
      It doesn't matter if its used for a reasonable purpose.
      • by WTFmonkey (652603) on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:43PM (#7303449)
        You missed the boat. The bad news is that by doing this as early as elementary school, the children grow up not seeing a problem with having their every move tracked. The tracking itself isn't the problem, it's the acclimatization to and ambivilance about the tracking that is carried throughout their lives that should be worrisome.

        Now, whether or not kids should be tracked is a different debate. I don't think there's any doubt that the idea is good on that level. What parent wouldn't feel more secure leaving their kids at school with this in place? Of course it's smart.

        But becoming accustomed to being tracked everywhere, anytime, all the time is something that children shouldn't have to grow up blindly accepting.

    • Because they're people, and have a right to some level of privacy?

      If they don't, after all, why do parents give their kids bedrooms with windowless doors?

    • Tell me why keeping track of children in a school is such bad thing?

      Tell me, when did regular attendance sheets become inadequate for this? Why does the school need to spend millions of dollars for RFID, when it's no more accurate than the old fashioned "check the box for each student that's here" method?

    • by immel (699491)
      It's not keeping track of them in school that's bad, it's the possibility that the children will be tracked outside of school (and they are, reference the bus transmitters) that worries people. Stalkers, drug dealers, or even worse people (RIAA/MPAA?) could potentially track them.
    • May be not wrong from any practical purpose but definitely wrong from various ethical reasons
      • First of all, being tracked all the time gives a person a feeling of insecurity. These are kids, not some master mind criminals. The worst they can do is miss a class, pull a prank , bulley someone , (please don't give columbine referances).
      • Continous tracking gives a sense of dis-trust and that is totally worng psychologically, A kid needs to feel secure and trusted in a learning environment.
      • It gives unnecessary
      • > If children are tought to live under all day surveillance under the pretext of their safety, they will grow up to be paranoid freaks, who will have no idea what terms like privacy, liberty mean

        If children grow up accustomed to living in a safe, secure, surveilled environment, they will realize that the ones reanding about "privacy" and "liberty" are the true "paranoid freaks".

        > Continous tracking gives a sense of dis-trust and that is totally worng psychologically, A kid needs to feel

  • Oh no... (Score:5, Funny)

    by ArmenTanzarian (210418) on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:33PM (#7303299) Homepage Journal
    My High School had a no hat policy, so I guess tinfoil wouldn't even be an option!
    • No kidding, I guess big brother isn't so advanced after all. He's almost 20 years late on this technology.

    • Ours too. What's the point of a no hat policy anyway? I can understand a "no tall hat" policy, but a ball cap pulled tightly against the scalp or turned backwards does not interfere with viewing the chalkboard anymore than a basketball player sitting in the front row (as if... but you get the idea).

      -l
      • > What's the point of a no hat policy anyway?

        Historically, it has been considered rude to wear a hat indoors. That's where it got it's start.

        Schools probably make a deal out of it as an expression of control over the students, but that doesn't change that it was at one point a universally accepted convention.
  • Workaround: (Score:5, Funny)

    by Luyseyal (3154) <swaters@luy.inLISPfo minus language> on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:34PM (#7303306) Homepage
    Workaround: "Hey Sandy, if you carry my tag to English today, I'll carry yours on Thursday."

    Thus: false sense of security. :)

    -l
    • Great, now the bullies don't have to beat you up on a daily basis to steal your lunch money, they can just steal your rfid.
    • Re:Workaround: (Score:4, Insightful)

      by BWJones (18351) on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:36PM (#7303347) Homepage Journal
      Or what about......The dog ate my ID. Or I forgot mine today. Come on now, these are kids we are talking about. Let's be realistic.

    • Re:Workaround: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by BladeRider (24966)
      They'll probably require that it be implanted under the skin. You have to think of the children! :)
    • by torklugnutz (212328) on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:43PM (#7303440) Homepage
      Simply implant the tags into student's bodies. Surround the tag with an air-sensitive, explosive capsule so counteract removal attempts.
      • Funny? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by nurb432 (527695)
        Why was this modded funny.. this IS the ultimate goal. Implant EVERYONE.. make them practically non removable....

        it should be modded as 'scary true'.

        Get them as kids.. makes it an easier process to maintain it when adults. and after a generation or two, you get mass coverage.
    • Workaround: "Hey Sandy, if you carry my tag to English today, I'll carry yours on Thursday."

      Until it becomes manditory to have RFID's embedded somewhere in out bodies (like maybe our fillings, or surgically implaneted into the back of our neck)
    • Easy to tell (Score:3, Informative)

      by siskbc (598067)
      Workaround: "Hey Sandy, if you carry my tag to English today, I'll carry yours on Thursday."

      Presumably if they're going to the trouble of determining all those other parameters, they'll also determine if the average distance between any two tags remains two low (ie, within two inches of each other because they're both around the same student's neck) or if the correlation between the positions of any two tags is too high (ie, because one's around a student's neck and the other is in his pocket for two stra

      • by BrynM (217883) *
        they'll also determine if the average distance between any two tags remains two low (ie, within two inches of each other because they're both around the same student's neck)
        Or if two students are necking... Not that teenagers ever do that, of course.
      • by gclef (96311) on Friday October 24, 2003 @04:14PM (#7303822)
        "Suzie, we think you were skipping school. But, we'll let you off the hook if you can answer this question for us: why was your tag within a few inches of Dave's for most of 6th period?"

        *Suzie blushes*

        *Dave's friends start giving him high-fives*
  • by BMonger (68213) on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:34PM (#7303307)
    I think that we can all stop calling the privacy advocates paranoid now.

    I'm going to continue doing so until they can find an effective way to keep tabs on me...
  • by SpiffyMarc (590301) on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:34PM (#7303322)
    Minority Report was wrong... they don't track you by scanning your eyes!

    I can't wait to walk into the GAP, so they can read my RFID tag and announce to everybody around that I recently purchased an unusually large amount of womens' underwear.
  • by ivan256 (17499) * on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:34PM (#7303328)
    These are not the same tags they are proposing for inventory control in retail outlets dispite what both the Wired article and the slashdot submitter imply. These are designed to be read from a longer distance and used specifically to track people. You can still call anti inventory control RFID privacy nuts 'paranoid'.
    • by helix400 (558178) on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:41PM (#7303417) Journal
      Deep down near the end of the article, you see this:

      "Intuitek President David M. Straitiff said his company built privacy protections into the school's RFID system, including limiting the reading range of the kiosks to less than 20 inches and making students touch the kiosk screen instead of passively being scanned by it. He pooh-poohed the notion that the system would be abused.

      (It's) the same as swiping a mag-strip card for access control, or presenting a photo ID badge to a security guard, both of which are commonplace occurrences," Straitiff said."

      Kinda takes the steam out of the story. Since whoever wrote this story left out or hid gigantic facts, I'm going to continue to call many privacy activists paranoid.
      • (Note -- I posted this elsewhere in the replies to this article, but forgot to login, so I thought I'd do it again with my ID and in a relevant spot...sorry about the double-post.)

        In the article:

        "Intuitek President David M. Straitiff said his company built privacy protections into the school's RFID system, including limiting the reading range of the kiosks to less than 20 inches and making students touch the kiosk screen instead of passively being scanned by it. He pooh-poohed the notion that the system w
    • These are not the same tags they are proposing for inventory control in retail outlets dispite what both the Wired article and the slashdot submitter imply. These are designed to be read from a longer distance and used specifically to track people.

      Oh, well as long as they are only used to track peoplee from long distances... that's fine.
  • by YllabianBitPipe (647462) on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:35PM (#7303329)
    You just know in a few months, some corporation is going to announce RFID tags for their employees. Heck, some companies already monitor email, webuse, they have cameras all over, they check when you come in if you have a door ID card. So they'll stick RFID tags in your badge and tell you to wear it at all times. And since people are so afraid of getting laid off, now's a perfect time to impliment such orwellian schemes.
  • School budgets? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cubicledrone (681598) on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:35PM (#7303338)
    Isn't it amazing that schools always seem to have money for this crap and yet cannot seem to educate literate graduates or provide pencils, books and paper for their students?

    They've got endless budgets for in-classroom cameras, RFID name badges and seminars about file-sharing but never enough for field trips, athletic equipment or buses.

    It just never seems to improve.
    • by dspfreak (666482) on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:55PM (#7303610)
      Man, you hit that right on the head.

      "We now know exactly where all of our students are."

      "That's really wonderful... uh... now what do we do with them?"

  • by Hayzeus (596826) on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:35PM (#7303339) Homepage
    The real problem with this technology is that it's only one-way. Once these devices can be implanted directly into the skulls of students, We will se a number of benefits.

    For example, we could remotely help them with their homework, automatically remove them from dangerous situations, make them do funny dances and speak with foreign accents, as well as invade neighboring countries, all with the push of a button.

    Here's to the future.

  • by JUSTONEMORELATTE (584508) on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:36PM (#7303353) Homepage
    How exactly does this take away from the child's freedom again?
    They are still free to choose attendance or ditching. They are still free to choose to return library books on time or keep them past the due date.
    Their choices have consequences, and this technology will make sure those consequences are dealt as impersonally as a photo-radar speed trap, but I can't really see where anyone's civil rights are being violated.
    I'm pretty far left-of-center, and I think this illustrates a much bigger problem of breakdown in trusting relationships between parents, teachers and kids, but could someone explain this one to me please?

    --
    • by scrytch (9198) <chuck@myrealbox.com> on Friday October 24, 2003 @04:02PM (#7303702)
      > How exactly does this take away from the child's freedom again?

      That Joe is a troublemaker. Hmm, Janie seems to hang out with him a lot, it's right here in the movement logs. Better bring her in and ask her some questions....
    • by BrynM (217883) * on Friday October 24, 2003 @04:16PM (#7303853) Homepage Journal
      Monitoring and punishing bad behaviour is very different than teaching someone to avoid bad behaviour and think with good judgement. Oh, and it's cheeper and can be spun better too.
    • How exactly does this take away from the child's freedom again?
      How would you like this implemented at your workplace? You're there on time and doing what you should be doing every day, right? And your job is posting on slashdot?...
    • No sparrow falls (Score:5, Insightful)

      by John Jorsett (171560) on Friday October 24, 2003 @05:19PM (#7304452)
      Would you really like to see us evolve into a society where all laws are enforced at all times by a "no sparrow falls" all-seeing authority? That's where we're headed, and it's disturbing. The idea of living in such an oppressive world seems to suck the very oxygen out of the air. And to complete the role reversal, I'm pretty right of center.
    • by jtheory (626492) on Friday October 24, 2003 @05:30PM (#7304548) Homepage Journal
      There are usually two groups of people who get upset about privacy issues like this.

      First there are the people who are breaking the rules, and who vaguely claim "privacy" as the reason to cover up their real reason. Unfortunately, these people just give ammo to the other foolish idea that "if you are doing the right thing, you have nothing to worry about".

      The second group thinks it through a little deeper, and realizes the long term dangers of each little encroachment. What are the possible abuses? They will occur. What then?

      If every movement of a child is tracked, who might want that data? Parents? Advertisers, even? Suppose the budget just didn't come through this year. Why provide the temptation for abuse? Suppose Johnny's aunt works in the main office, and isn't too keen on him dating that black girl because "it just isn't right". Funny how she's always suddenly walking past whenever they're together. Or suppose the administration decides to take a proactive approach to discipline by keeping an extra close eye on any student with any problematic history... including notifying the parents of the new friends that Johnny makes while trying for what he thought was a "fresh start" in high school. Is that right? How did Johnny's name even get on that list? Was that his aunt's doing? Or did a jealous classmate hack the central computer? Hey, it's like in the War Games movie, but you can do a hell of a lot more than just change your grade!

      Now consider the psychological effects of living under a constant watchful eye. Keep in mind that you are not really acting morally until you do the right thing when you are NOT watched... that's really what matters. When do the students get to practice that?

      Have you ever been driving alone on a road where you *knew* for certain that there were no cops for miles? Many teenagers (and some adults too..) would drive like maniacs, until the time they hit a deer, or nearly soiled their pants when that cardboard box in the road came out of nowhere... and they realize the reason for the speed limit laws. Learning that there are reasons behind most rules is part of growing up, and if the only reason for obedience is "because I said so, and I'll KNOW if you break the rules", won't it take a very long time for a kid to grow up?
  • I don't have a *big* problem with this. If someone were to abduct a child from a playground, it would be extremely useful for a system to notice that a student has left the premisis. Maybe it even auto-calls the police.

    Now if this were to find it's way into the workplace, that would suck. But not all monitoring technology is a bad thing.

    • Now if this were to find it's way into the workplace, that would suck. But not all monitoring technology is a bad thing.

      Right, so long as it's being done to someone else it's OK. When will people realize that if you won't defend other peoples rights noone will defend yours?
  • by kid zeus (563146) on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:37PM (#7303368)
    Sweet Zombie Jesus, this is terrifying. Kids growing up in a world where their every move is in effect monitored, as are all objects around them. If you're old enough to know better, you can at least fight the concept. But to grow up in the middle of it as if it were natural... disgusting. We're going to be raising children who are either soulless or, in the case of those who can't deal with it, psychotic. What a truly hateful development. Somewhere Huxley and Orwell are weeping. And yes, I'm aware Orwell wasn't trying to predict the future but was in fact commenting on totalitarian regimes in his lifetime. He's still weeping.
  • by pmz (462998) on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:37PM (#7303371) Homepage

    and our kids are totally fucked. I predict an entire generation of useless paranoid humans who can't bear any responsibility, because of their paralyzing fear of irrational and inequitable punishment.

    Even without these tags, I remember the animosity generated among kids when someone gets away with something (beats the system) while other kids get caught red-handed (brought a Swiss army knife to school, because, well, it's useful for stuff).
  • turnabout (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tumbleweed (3706)
    Okay, but will the principal & the teachers have RFID tags to track their attendance, too? And perhaps GPS systems tracking their cars to make sure they're not speeding to work in the morning? And Internet filters on their computers? And let's check the length of the male teacher's hair to make sure it's not too long, and the length of the female teacher's skirts, to make sure they're not too short, and oh yeah, let's have them blow into a breathalyzer each morning before they're allowed to enter the sc
  • kids really can't object. if this tracking is up to the consent of the kid's parents, kids may not have much choice in the matter.
  • I don't see anything terribly wrong with helping the teachers keep track of kids. Imagine a few hundred kids on a field trip to a museum. It'd be a lot easier and safer if the kids were all tagged so if they went out of a certain perimeter the chaperones could go find them right away. There also wouldn't be the problem of continuous head counts or leaving someone behind. Tagging kids is a bit weird, but the world's gotten more than a bit weird. Parents are lojacking their children now, after all. RFID
  • does this prevent someone from just carrying someone else's ID in their pocket? I mean, if my high school did this waaaaay back when I went there, I could have made some serious coin just carrying around some IDs.

    This doesn't help if the teachers aren't making sure the students are actually there. And it sure as hell doesn't help them learn.

  • The kids are wearing these on a name badge around their neck, so it's not getting implanted into their skin. That's the bood part.

    It's still not good. Its potential for abuse, from BOTH sides, is tremendous. There's bound to be lots of problems with implementation, and people can discreetly carry around other's badges for them.

    Technology is schools is way over-hyped.
  • ...child molester gets himself a radio transmitter and tracker so he can easily find isolated prey...

    This message brought to you by Extreme Outcome Predictors of America...

  • by Stiletto (12066) on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:49PM (#7303530)

    The privacy advocate (implying most people aren't concerned with privacy) is exactly right. This move's effect (and probably its purpose) is to prepare children to accept ubiquitous monitoring and tracking, so they don't resist it when the cameras are installed on every city block in a few years.

    My age group will be ridiculed as paranoid when I complain about the corporations/government start keeping detailed logs on everything I do, everyone I see, everywhere I go, etc. etc. After all, GovernCorp is only doing this for our protection, to keep the TERRORISTS away!!!

    Watch as your children are taught to love Big Brother...
  • by Malor (3658) * on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:51PM (#7303553) Journal
    What really struck me about San Quentin Prison was how much like a high school it was: high walls, lines on the ground showing you where you could walk and stand, very regimented schedule. The biggest difference was that wherever you were, someone with a gun had line of sight on you.

    What triggered this memory was two words near the start of page two: where it said "picture tags", I misread it as "prison tags". I think my subconscious was trying to tell me something.

    It was interesting watching my own prejudices while reading the article as well; I started out with a "this is terrible!" preconception, but then that conception wavered quite a bit when the article carefully emphasized "inner-city school". I went to one of those for awhile; I don't know about all of them, but the one I was in was pretty awful, and that was almost thirty years ago.

    Regardless of how bad the school is, I don't think there is any excuse for surveillance technology on everyone, whether or not they've been convicted of anything. Perhaps putting that kind of dog collar on kids with discipline problems would be ok, but on EVERYONE? Isn't school already enough like prison?

    "Each morning at 7:30 AM, check your free will at the door. We'll return it to you, only slightly tarnished, in the afternoon. "

    If you insist on putting a dog collar on children, you've got no gripe if you end up with dogs.

  • by rossz (67331) <ogre.geekbiker@net> on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:53PM (#7303578) Homepage Journal
    It trains our kids to be used to the idea of having their every move monitored. When they become adults they will so trained to it that they won't put up a fight when the government decides everyone needs a tracking device.

    If my daughter's public school ever decided to do this, I will be the first parent to refuse to allow my daughter to carry the device.

    An important reminder: the Consitution is not suspended just because you are in school. It still applies, despite what some control freaks would have you believe.
    • When they become adults they will so trained to it that they won't put up a fight when the government decides everyone needs a tracking device.

      No. The real problem is, when they grow up, they will be the government. And having grown up with these and similar monitoring schemes, they will have little problem in instituting it.
  • I wear one at work. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BrookHarty (9119) on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:53PM (#7303588) Homepage Journal
    I have an access badge at my work, lets me in rooms, lets me into the building, tracks my movement. We where going to enable it for Sun Rays, so we could walk up to any desk and have access to our x-session.

    Not exactly the same as RF, have to manually scan every where you go, but if you want access you have to scan.

    I use a system called Powerbroker, that logs all my keystrokes when I log into systems, it can be used to replay sessions incase something went wrong. Also tracks everyone, incase someone did unathorized work.

    My Net connection is logged in the corporate proxy, and if I hit an authorized site, it informs me that the site is blocked.

    My wireless data and phonecalls are tracked, with detailed records. All the way down to my location using trianglation (we call it location-based services to the customers.) Not exactly E911 and GPS, but thats in the works.

    About the only security I have is my own computer and system. Since IT doesnt control my Unix box or Laptop, I can have encrypted FileSystems, and encrypted containers to keep people out. Also I use encrypted tunnels to my own systems (ssh/ssl/vpn) so I can have un-monitored access. With Wireless data being around, you can have access to the net even if your IT department blocks you. Private IRC/IM/email and such.

    I guess I noticed security and privacy issues, same goes with kids. The RFID's just monitor movement and services, not the actual data the kids use. If we started recording the converstations in the hall, and sniffers to read sms messages between kids, then its a REAL invasion of privacy.

    In other news, anyone see that the Senate passed the Genetic Privacy Bill? Hopefully this gets signed into law, this is the real type of privacy we need. Thou, Flip side, criminals get put into a nation wide DNA database, go figure.
    -
    None of us is as dumb as all of us

  • by Restil (31903) on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:55PM (#7303609) Homepage
    They don't have to carry these things around when they're not in school. And when they ARE in school, they're supposed to get on/off the bus at a specific time, they're supposed to be in specific classes at specific times. They're not supposed to leave campus during classes (with obvious legitimate exceptions, of course). Each class always takes roll, and if the student hasn't shown up for class that day, and the office hasn't been notified why, the parents are contacted. This happens already, why would adding RFID tags make any difference? It might be helpful to know that the student got off the bus, but hasn't shown up to class. Or walked out of the building after 3rd period not to return. The advantage of using RFID is that this information can be made available immediately if needed, and if there is a real problem, you don't have to spend a couple hours tracking down attendance records from the teachers or watching hours of video looking for the important 3 seconds.

    I suppose it's sad that anyone thinks that this is necessary, but the same can be said for metal detectors and locks on the doors. The only problem I can see with this is if someone relies on on the RFID and ONLY the RFID for tracking purposes. Manual attendance counts should still be taken and verified to avoid any attempts to abuse the system. But lets not get too excited about a perceived loss of privacy where there really has never been a whole lot of it anyway.

    -Restil
  • This is ridiculous (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MoOsEb0y (2177) on Friday October 24, 2003 @04:04PM (#7303724)
    FUCK THIS! My kids are going to be homeschooled!
  • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Friday October 24, 2003 @04:33PM (#7304080) Homepage
    This is simply the logical next step of public education.

    The original supporters of public education were largely supporting it for the purpose of subjugating the public. They saw mandatory public education as a means to subvert those of higher intellect, and to "level the playing field" so that people would be more easily managaged. Additionally, it was seen as a tool to sundivide people, and to cause folks to see artificial social barriers (such as age) where they were not, by dividing them up into such age-based groups.

    When you consider that people throughout our history have been doing college-level work at around 12 (Benjamin Franklin, anyone?), this isn't in the least bit inconceiveable. Franklin wasn't a savant or anything like that - he had quite a few contemporaries: Washinton, Jefferson, Adams and the like. They also started adulthood at a younger age. (Franklin was a printer's apprentice at 12, and was doing graduate-level work, ot a degree, at that time).

    When you contrast this historical treatment of education, vs. modern situations, where there are often intelligent people that do poorly in school, or simply do medicorely because they don't have the desire to invest themselves in something that is incredibly slow paced, and teens in general feel distant and confused, it's no small wonder.

    This is just one step closer towards the Governing class being able to truely and completely subvert people: we're well on our way to thoughtcrime. I give he US (and maybe other countries too?) no more than 20 years until there is mandatory RFID-taging of every student, and maybe 30 years for every citizen - all globally locateable. All in the name of "stopping terrorists", and the easier management and control of the populace.

    Doesn't make those "crazy" biblical philosophy folks seem that far off with the "mark of the beast". I guess now would probably be the right time to mention that Christianity has a strong centric emphasis on the individual, if I wanted to be flamed and start the trolls a' rolling.
  • DoublePlusUnGood (Score:3, Insightful)

    by adeyadey (678765) on Friday October 24, 2003 @04:47PM (#7304216) Journal
    In our school 1984 was one of the main book used in our English course.

    Oh the irony.

    Good to see the guys at MiniTrue working hard..
  • by crios2 (718861) on Friday October 24, 2003 @04:48PM (#7304225)
    I teach and to me this doesn't sound like such a bad idea. As a homeroom teacher trying to keep track of 25 students or more is a really hard thing to do, let alone a school of 200-300 students. I'm thinking right now about the parents who show up to school and their child isn't around (happens more often that you think) because they got on a bus, or are still in school, or left at a earlier time, or maybe ditched halfway through the day. A system like this would help us to keep track of where students are and possibly alleviate a whole lot of aggravation and panic on the parts of parents and teachers. There is also the paperwork side of this. Teaching is soooooooo much work. I regularly put in 12 - 14 hour days and one thing that would be great is if I didn't have to worry about attendance. There is a lot of attendance paperwork to keep track of, (We SHOULD be doing it on the coputer but the administration seems to have no idea what computers are capable of.) not to mention that in the morning there are a bazillion other things to do along with taking attendance. It would be so nice if they just walked into the school and they were automatically noted. (sigh)
  • by argoff (142580) on Friday October 24, 2003 @05:20PM (#7304463)
    I mean the days where they tatooed a number on you and kept track of you by placing you in a concentration camp^H^H^H^H oops I mean resort.

    Also this begs the question, if the RFID requirment is so harmless, then what are you going to do when a kid or parent refuses, .. expell them, humiliate them, impose corporal dicipline? Call human services on their parents for neglecting their kid when they are no longer in school. Call the police to take the kids away, and pop a bullet in their heads if they fight back to keep their child?

    How much you'd want to bet that they'd call the parents extreme!
  • Kids... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Obasan (28761) on Friday October 24, 2003 @09:00PM (#7305857)
    Sorry, does anyone else out there think we should LET kids take risks, LET kids learn from their mistakes, LET kids take actions that aren't good for them so they can see for themselves. And if a few don't make it - well, bluntly, there's plenty where they came from.

    The current situation seems destined to produce adult children - people who have never experienced anything outside of the carefully sanitized artificial environment created for them. Maybe experiencing a little danger might be good for them.

    Our society is obsessively compelled to believe (in large part thanks to media induced hysteria) that there are psychos and thugs around every corner. The reality is those of us in North America and Western Europe live in the SAFEST SOCIETY THERE EVER HAS BEEN.

    Maybe, just maybe, there is a greater good to be had by letting our kids LIVE and LEARN (and risk) than locking them down every moment of their lives and then suddenly turning them loose when they are 18. Our society seems bound and determined to ensure children make the LEAST of the first 20 years of their life.

  • Best Quote (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Captain Large Face (559804) on Saturday October 25, 2003 @02:34AM (#7306860) Homepage

    Did anyone else spot this one?

    "I think the Buffalo experiment is getting children ready for the
    brave new world (emphasis mine)"
    --Gary Stillman, Director, Enterprise Charter School

    Huxley [huxley.net], anyone?

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