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Texas High School Student Loses Lawsuit Challenging RFID Tracking Requirement 412

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-terribly-surprising dept.
Chris453 writes "Earlier today, a Texas High School student named Andrea Hernandez and her family lost the first round of the lawsuit filed to prevent her school district from forcing its students to wear RFID badges for tracking purposes. The judge in the case declared that the district's compromise for the student (a badge without the battery) was sufficient and dismissed any First Amendment issues. The badges are RFIDs powered by built-in batteries and one of the concerns was that the badges would be used to track students off-campus. Interestingly enough, the school district claims in court documents that 'The badges do not work off campus (PDF).' However, on their website, the school district confirms that it is conceivable that an off-campus RFID reader could access badge serial numbers, but tries to downplay the significance: 'Therefore, an intruder or "hacker" can only learn that the tag serial number is, for example, #69872331, but that does not provide any useful information. Has the district committed perjury by claiming that the active RFIDs magically deactivate themselves when off school property?"
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Texas High School Student Loses Lawsuit Challenging RFID Tracking Requirement

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  • Sorry dude (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dyingtolive (1393037) <brad DOT arnett AT notforhire DOT org> on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @09:17AM (#42530883)
    You're under 18, so not a human being in the eyes of the state, and as such subject to being tracked like cattle.

    If it's any consolation, the rest of us are only marginally human beings in the eyes of the state, and are still subject to being tracked like cattle if we go out to anywhere public, or use any service or product. On the bright side, you're getting indoctrinated to it early.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by dyingtolive (1393037)
      ...and before any pedant gets ahold of my post: Yes, I know it's a chick. Yes, I call women "dudes" sometimes. No, that does not represent any sort of confusion upon my part.
      • Equal opportunity right?
      • Re:Sorry dude (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @12:15PM (#42533011)

        For the first 30 years of its use in the 1800s, dude was a nongendered term used to mock how someone dressed(today, we use the term "metrosexual" in much the same way, albeit only referring to men).

        Gradually it changed to mean "an idiot from back east who has no clue", and then to "those city slickers who are paying us to to let them play cowboy".

        Its appropriation by the surfer culture in the 60s and their feminization of the word "dudette" created the perception that dude is a gendered term, but general usage still supports its equal usage.

        • Gradually it changed to mean "an idiot from back east who has no clue", and then to "those city slickers who are paying us to to let them play cowboy".

          Or to those losers who pay for a reverse cowgirl at a "ranch" in Nevada.

    • Re:Sorry dude (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @09:42AM (#42531081)

      Well, just students. In Saudi-Arabia, every woman is tracked via her cellphone. If she is found to try leaving the state, her male guardian (every woman has a mostly legally responsible guardian like a husband, brother or father) is notified by SMS. Of course, that's just a compromise as, strictly speaking, women are not allowed to move without their guardian's supervision in public at all, at penalty of flaying.

      We're ok with all that because Saudi-Arabia has a whole lot of oil.

      • Well, just students. In Saudi-Arabia, every woman is tracked via her cellphone. If she is found to try leaving the state, her male guardian (every woman has a mostly legally responsible guardian like a husband, brother or father) is notified by SMS. Of course, that's just a compromise as, strictly speaking, women are not allowed to move without their guardian's supervision in public at all, at penalty of flaying.

        We're ok with all that because Saudi-Arabia has a whole lot of oil.

        We're okay with lots of stuff if there's a whole lot of oil involved.

      • Re:Sorry dude (Score:4, Informative)

        by tnk1 (899206) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @11:18AM (#42532175)

        Not to take away from the gravity of the punishment, but they don't get flayed, they get flogged. Still very painful, and dangerous, but not quite as extreme.

        And we're not okay with it, they just happen to have the rest of the world by the balls, at the moment. That will change, soon enough.

        • by Nyder (754090)

          Not to take away from the gravity of the punishment, but they don't get flayed, they get flogged. Still very painful, and dangerous, but not quite as extreme.

          And we're not okay with it, they just happen to have the rest of the world by the balls, at the moment. That will change, soon enough.

          You do realize that there is a lot of Oil in the world and the USA is currently working on using up everyone else's Oil before we dive too far into ours?

          That is part of the USA's long term goal, use up everyone elses Oil so all that is left is OUR oil. When we are the only ones with Oil, then we win or proffit, or something.

    • You're not a human being in the eyes of the state, and as such subject to being tracked like cattle.

      FTFY

    • by itof500 (239202)

      Corporations are people with rights. Why not us?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Tinker vs DesMoine School district
      "constitutional rights do not stop at the schoolhouse gates"

      While minors have some restrictions compared to adults, they're clearly humans in the eyes of the state (too much so in some cases, where the state seems to think that a fertilized egg is a human).

      This is an interesting case at a higher level. Today it's RFID tracking, with an explicit object needed. But the technology is not too far from just doing the tracking using image processing. It's already being done in

    • Re:Sorry dude (Score:5, Informative)

      by Talderas (1212466) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @11:27AM (#42532305)

      I like the fact that Slashdot is conflating this to a tracking complaint when the case is more of a "freedom of religion" case than anything else. The tracking bit is tangential to the meat of the case.

      Summation. Student thinks RFID chip is the "mark of the beast" and refuses to wear badge on religious grounds. School offers badge without chip. Student's parent instead wants entire program removed because wearing the badge is "compelled speech" supporting the program and by extension supporting the "mark of the beast".

      There's some other complaints in the case but that's what it revolves around and none of the complaints have to do with tracking.

      • I'm not really an expert on religion, especially Christianity, but wasn't the point of the "mark of the beast" that it was basically a tracking number? I agree that it's silly on those grounds, especially since it would be much more likely that the "mark of the beast" would be the social security number that the kid (and probably the parents) undoubtedly have.

        Way to try to come off with the objectivity when we're trying to rally and foster our own personal agenda in something loosely related, BTW.
        • Re:Sorry dude (Score:5, Informative)

          by The Moof (859402) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @12:21PM (#42533081)
          It seems there's a new "Mark of the Beast" every decade or so. Back when I was a kid and went to church every week with my parents, I remember reading an article in one of the missals how bank account numbers are the "Mark of the Beast" - and this was 20 years ago.
  • Read the PDF (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @09:21AM (#42530907)
    I think it is fairly clear that it is the ability of staff to track students location that only works when the student is on campus. Of course it would have been better to qualify that with a statement that the card will still respond to other readers:

    ...the chip in the Smart ID badge also enables school staff to locate a student on a campus with a very large student population.16 The campus is equipped with sensors to read the card and school staff can determine the general whereabouts of the student carrying the card.17 The sensors do not give an exact reading or pinpoint the precise location of a student (e.g. a specific classroom), but it would show whether the student is in a certain wing of the school.18 The Smart ID badges work only within the school campus that has been equipped with sensors to read them.19 The badges do not work off campus.

    • by Qzukk (229616) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @09:24AM (#42530933) Journal

      Sounds like any perjury on their part would hinge on what it means to work and whether the judge allows them to make their own definition of the word.

    • Re:Read the PDF (Score:5, Insightful)

      by coinreturn (617535) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @09:26AM (#42530943)

      I think it is fairly clear that it is the ability of staff to track students location that only works when the student is on campus. Of course it would have been better to qualify that with a statement that the card will still respond to other readers:

      ...the chip in the Smart ID badge also enables school staff to locate a student on a campus with a very large student population.16 The campus is equipped with sensors to read the card and school staff can determine the general whereabouts of the student carrying the card.17 The sensors do not give an exact reading or pinpoint the precise location of a student (e.g. a specific classroom), but it would show whether the student is in a certain wing of the school.18 The Smart ID badges work only within the school campus that has been equipped with sensors to read them.19 The badges do not work off campus.

      I agree. I think the "perjury" comment was there just for inflammatory purposes.

      • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @09:34AM (#42531027) Homepage
        An inflammatory statement in a Slashdot story on privacy vs. government? Surely you jest!
      • Re:Read the PDF (Score:5, Insightful)

        by artfulshrapnel (1893096) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @10:16AM (#42531449)

        Well it kind of is perjury. The badges do indeed "work" off campus, in that if pinged by and RFID scanner they respond with their unique ID code.

        A stalker or someone who wanted to do harm to a specific student doesn't need access to their full records, they just need to determine that ID code and use it to track them.

        • by samkass (174571)

          Well it kind of is perjury. The badges do indeed "work" off campus, in that if pinged by and RFID scanner they respond with their unique ID code.

          A stalker or someone who wanted to do harm to a specific student doesn't need access to their full records, they just need to determine that ID code and use it to track them.

          It is incorrect information. In order for it to be "perjury" it has to be shown to be material to the outcome of the case, which is possible but less clear.

        • Well it kind of is perjury. The badges do indeed "work" off campus, in that if pinged by and RFID scanner they respond with their unique ID code.

          A stalker or someone who wanted to do harm to a specific student doesn't need access to their full records, they just need to determine that ID code and use it to track them.

          In context, they're referring to the ability of staff to use them to locate students. Perjury is determined by reading all of a party's submissions and statements to the court, not just one sentence out of context.

          • Re:Read the PDF (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @10:38AM (#42531683)
            Except that staff, who have access to the information regarding which students have which RFID badges, can track the students off campus, they just cannot do so with the school's equipment. It is not the badges which do not work off campus, it is the central tracking system which does not work off campus. This is a violation of "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth." There is a reason that the oath is worded that way, your statements to the court under oath are supposed to be worded so as to be clear as to their meaning. Reading this it looks to me like this was carefully worded so as to make it seem that the badges stopped functioning when the student left campus while leaving the school able to say, "Oh no, that is not what we meant at all."
        • by Talderas (1212466)

          It's not. It's taking one sentence out of the brief and out of context. It's also a rather pointless sentence with relation to the actual issues being viewed by the court.

          As far as the ruling is concerned and tracking and privacy is concerned... they defined working as "on a campus equipped with sensors". The school is not capable of tracking a student that is off campus therefore they do not work off campus.

          The whole case is basically a religious freedom case and has very little to do with privacy or track

        • Re:Read the PDF (Score:4, Informative)

          by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @11:05AM (#42531993)

          Well it kind of is perjury. The badges do indeed "work" off campus, in that if pinged by and RFID scanner they respond with their unique ID code.

          Not really - perjury is a willful act intended to deceive. Disagreeing about what constitutes "working" or making a statement you believe is accurate based on your knowledge - i.e. work means able to identify a particular student using data stored in the system's computer and so they don't work to track individual students by identity even if you can still read a RFID code - would not be perjury.

          • by Belial6 (794905)
            If the school does not understand that the RFID can be used to be used to identify students off campus, then they do not understand the security risks (no matter how small it may be) associated with the devices that they are demanding students carry with them. Thus the tags should not be allowed.
      • by Svartalf (2997)

        If you're agreeing, you're being a tool. The tags don't magically fail to work off campus. If I figure out what brand/model of reader or what protocol the tags use, I can read them OFF campus. If I'm not caring about FCC regs, I can greatly extend the range of the reader.

        They're pathetically stupid, lying, or worse, both.

        To think that it's an empty inflamatory remark without basis is being ignorant.

        • If you're agreeing, you're being a tool. The tags don't magically fail to work off campus. If I figure out what brand/model of reader or what protocol the tags use, I can read them OFF campus. If I'm not caring about FCC regs, I can greatly extend the range of the reader.

          They're pathetically stupid, lying, or worse, both.

          To think that it's an empty inflamatory remark without basis is being ignorant.

          Bullshit. At worst, it is ill-informed, not perjury. The plaintiff's objection is the ability of school staff to track them. School staff does not have off-site readers. "Perjury" is clearly used here to inflame.

          From wikipedia: Perjury, also known as forswearing, is the willful act of swearing a false oath or of falsifying an affirmation to tell the truth, whether spoken or in writing, concerning matters material to a judicial proceeding.[1][A] That is, the witness falsely promises to tell the truth about

      • by c (8461)

        > I agree. I think the "perjury" comment was there just for inflammatory purposes.

        Well, you could make an argument that they're full of shit when they say they're tracking students ratehr than whoever is carrying the badges. But that could just be ignorance rather than perjury.

    • Re:Read the PDF (Score:5, Informative)

      by aurizon (122550) <bill.jackson@gmail.AUDENcom minus poet> on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @09:54AM (#42531227)

      The badges work at all times, the look-up table that correlates the badge number to a person is internal to the school. RFID comes in both short and long range versions - I assume this is a longer range one (it has a battery - the short range ones are usually RF field powered). It may show up up on a Fedex warehouse RFID scanner or other scanner, but as a number with no associated data. I am not sure how widespread RFID response fields are outside of warehouses and malls?
      In any event, the repeated numbers *666* should not be part of the string, just so the petty number of the beast argument can be tossed.
      Many companies use RFID badges for timecards punch-in to work and for access to various doors, both at the entrance and exit and to control access to various areas for assorted reasons.

      • The badges work at all times, the look-up table that correlates the badge number to a person is internal to the school.

        But, the same person will always have the same number. Imagine I work at the mall and have access to all the scanners in the mall (probably not a realistic situation granted) and I see a hot girl come in that I would like to stalk. I can, with a bit of effort figure out the ID on her card and set up alerts for whenever she enters the building. More likely, imagine someone is accused of shoplifting, same situation. They can read the card and they can see who they are scanning, there's no need for the sch

        • by aurizon (122550)

          This is true, you can stalk a person and build up a data base of students, and in time someone might do this commercially. They should use an encrypted inquiry method, where the card will only answer to the correct interrogation string, which can be robustly encrypted. (these methods are established and secure, the military has established ways to do this, as has the auto and garage door industry).
          With such a method, the school badges would only respond to a secure school inquiry. They may, in fact, have

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If you can buy the sensors, you can read the tag- period. It's not clear at all to someone who's honestly versed in the practice of RF Identification that it does ANYTHING other than report it's ID. Powered tags have varying extra abilities. Things like faster turn on. Extended range at lower reader powers (tag senses the read pulse and POWERS ON, giving a chirp reply...). That sort of thing.

      The DOD has badge readers that will identify their DOD badge docked into a holder that do this at hundreds of fe

      • by Chrisq (894406)

        If you can buy the sensors, you can read the tag- period. It's not clear at all to someone who's honestly versed in the practice of RF Identification that it does ANYTHING other than report it's ID. Powered tags have varying extra abilities. Things like faster turn on. Extended range at lower reader powers (tag senses the read pulse and POWERS ON, giving a chirp reply...). That sort of thing.

        The DOD has badge readers that will identify their DOD badge docked into a holder that do this at hundreds of feet from the reader- as an example. These tags? They're IN that class of devices.

        Either the School District's stupid (probable), lying, or both.

        It amazes me to no end just how friggin' stupid the lot is here on /. that they can't even manage to understand that concept and are willing to defend the stupidity we're seeing exhibited here by the District.

        Just to be clear I was saying that the school district were not committing perjury, not that the cards could not be traced off campus. They were saying that THEIR SYSTEM WOULD NOT ALLOW STAFF to track people off campus, and that's all. That's why I added "Of course it would have been better to qualify that with a statement that the card will still respond to other readers" - what they said was true but did not mean that nobody could track students off-campus

    • an intruder or "hacker" can only learn that the tag serial number is, for example, #69872331, but that does not provide any useful information

      I don't think the author/courts understand how RFID works. That is, essentially, all it does: provide wirelessly an ID number for the badge it just scanned. If you can do this anywhere with the right type of scanner, it is no longer secure.

      How hard is it to clone this RFID serial number so you can come and go in the school posing as the student? Almost trivial with the right(rather inexpensive) equipment. Get a programmable RFID fob on the right frequency, program it with that 'serial #' and bam, you are th

  • Perjury? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @09:32AM (#42531005)

    No. If the "system" "works" in such a way, then once you break that way, that system breaks. Now, you may be left with multiple parts of that system, in different places, and maybe another system could use that piece for it's purpose, but it's not perjury to say that those cards do not "work" off campus, because here "work" is defined by being an active part (ID badge) of an active system (school RFID system), with an intended purpose.

    It's sorta weird to see how RFID is associated with privacy. The student is at school, in their physical body, that we all can see with our built-in eyes! Normally, they're accounted for via some "roll-call" in the mornings (or at least that's how we used to do it back in the day), and then that information was sent to the office where it was processed, and a larger set of information was sent to the state, and everyone that was at school that day was accounted for, it's been happening for a long time now. So what if they want to put teachers at all corners of the halls and watch all of the students, what's wrong with that? ...other than it being waaay to expensive for the tax payers to pay the teachers. So instead, they try this idea, and everyone is trying to freak out over a privacy issue. I don't get it, but I'm old and it's probably time that I just move on to yelling at the neighborhood kids about my fine grass.

    • Re:Perjury? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by AlecC (512609) <aleccawley@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @10:00AM (#42531297)

      It makes it easy and inexpensive to automate following you around. To follow a single person using the Eyeball Mk1 takes about ten people. To follow them by RFID takes a few inexpensive readers scattered around. You can track students for good reasons - or for bad ones (stalking etc),

      Not that I want to take a knee-jerk attitude to this and say it must be banned. But it has unintended consequences, which may not have been thought through.

      • by Jetra (2622687)
        That sounds more interesting than 1984. Wonder if our government might be learning something about how to keep track of its people, quash hopes and dreams, and destroy our will, effectively turning us into zombies that are too afraid to talk?
    • "Student RSC-0032Q5, you have been penalized 18 EduKarma as you have been found to be in the top 5% in bathroom break time. WARNING: Your EduKarma is critically low. If your EduKarma falls below 25 these gathered statistics will form part of your permanent employment record. SPECIAL SALE: Buy up to 500 EduKarma for 25% off until March 31!"

      Also, Repent Harlequin Said The Tick-Tock Man. [wikipedia.org]
    • Let's say I own a mall. I install RFID readers at all the entrances and exits. When someone is caught shoplifting security reads their student ID (without their knowledge) and puts it in my system so that security is called whenever they enter the premises. That's a bit creepy no? Now imagine security is a bit less scrupulous, and they see a hot girl come through the doors, they look at the scanner and see #124785678 just entered, add that to the system so they can follow her around whenever she goes sh

  • Battery? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pla (258480) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @09:34AM (#42531019) Journal
    "The judge in the case declared that the district's compromise for the student (a badge without the battery) was sufficient"

    Active RFID tags cost a fuckload of a lot more than passive ones, not to mention they occasionally need the battery replaced. Never mind the privacy issues here, why the hell do we allow public schools to waste so much taxpayer money on frivolous BS like this?

    I have two passive RFID badges I use on a daily basis, and they do their thing just fine. Hold it up to the pad next to the door, the door goes "click", done.
    • by Shavano (2541114)
      Because they are using them to take attendance and the central computer can detect their presence in most places in the school.
      • by Svartalf (2997)

        To whit, the tags can be used outside of the school to locate the children. So...they lied. Seriously. If it can read attendance the way you're describing, it can be used elsewhere. RFID doesn't magically turn itself completely off and not work outside of their schools.

    • by Ramley (1168049)
      I actually went to the website, and if you read the FAQ:

      "Q. What does this pilot cost and what is the projected additional revenue expected?
      A. NISD will spend approximately $261,000 on this pilot for the two schools and expects to realize $2 million in additional revenues."
      • I thought this was about making sure students were coming to school on the days they should be, attending the classes that they should be, nor leaving campus during the day, etc. Now we're talking about revenue? From where does that revenue actually come?

        • by Digicrat (973598)

          School funds are typically tied directly to daily student attendance. If they expect the RFID system to give them more revenues, then they somehow believe it will be more accurate than traditional roll-calls -- or at least give them more false positives.

        • From where does that revenue actually come?

          From you (assuming that you pay federal taxes). The school is projecting that this system will reduce truancy and allow them to report a larger number of students attending class each day. Schools receive federal funds based on the average number of students in attendance (I am not quite sure how the formula works). In part this will allow them to say that "Johnny" was at school today, even though none of his teachers saw him in order to mark him on the attendance sheet (which they will not have to keep any

  • Maybe... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bmo (77928) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @09:36AM (#42531039)

    ...just maybe if she didn't include a hypothesis that wasn't absolutely looney-tunes, she would have a better argument.

    Using the bible as a basis for legal argument is dumb. It can be *part* of an argument, to show history, but this whole "mark of the beast" Revelations crap is just crap.

    FTFA:

    "The judge disagreed. In a 25-page ruling, he wrote that the Hernandezâ(TM)s refusal to wear the badge even without the tracking chip undermined her claims that the district was violating her religious freedom. âoePlaintiff's objection to wearing the Smart ID badge without a chip is clearly a secular choice, rather than a religious concern,â Garcia wrote."

    Evangelicals drive around with drivers' licenses with numbers and a photo and other state/work/school IDs. They don't have a religious objection to those. So why is it suddenly a religious objection when it's a high school ID even without an RFID chip?

    Someone's telling tall tales here, and it's not necessarily the school being mistaken about the utility of RFID off campus.

    I want an argument against RFID badges that doesn't include a batshit-insane argument about Satan, because I think there are legitimate privacy concerns about RFID being trackable outside of their intended environments. But this gets drowned out in the herp-a-derp religiosity, which only paints those with real concerns as shiny-side-out tinfoil haberdashers.

    This girl and her dad aren't helping. Not. One. Bit.

    --
    BMO

  • Micowave Oven (Score:2, Interesting)

    by crmanriq (63162)

    Just pop the tag in a microwave oven for a minute or two. No more RFID.
    "I don't know what happened. Maybe the Lord don't like RFID tags."

    After enough tags go poof, the school administration will probably give up on having you wear one.

    Physical tag with barcode? Sharpie the barcode to another number, maybe. Or generate your own barcode and forge a new tag. There are so many possibilities to screw with the administration that it seems like it would be more fun to see how long until they broke.

    • by Shavano (2541114)
      Then get marked absent every day intil the trusnt officer shows up. great solution.
    • Re:Micowave Oven (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Cigarra (652458) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @10:06AM (#42531347)
      It's not about a working tag or not. It's about COMPLIANCE. They will let her use a tag with the batteries removed, as long as she doesn't make waves and looks like she's OK with the system.
      • by crmanriq (63162)

        "It's not about a working tag or not. It's about COMPLIANCE."

        Totally agree. And her religious objection is also about compliance. The school requires compliance, and her religious belief is that compliance endangers her soul.

        So let the school think she is complying. When in reality she is sabotaging. Microwave, altered tag, forged tag. The school officials get to go "See. we get our way. She's being a good-little-citizen." All the while she can also say to herself (and her deity) "Look. I am not al

    • by Hatta (162192)

      After enough tags go poof, the school administration will probably give up on having you wear one.

      Or expel you. Yes, school administrators will expel a student over something this petty.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @09:39AM (#42531059)

    "Therefore, an intruder or "hacker" can only learn that the tag serial number is, for example, #69872331, but that does not provide any useful information."

    Joe Stalker sits in a car, watches student walk by, and notes the RFID that shows up on his scanner. From that point on the student is trackable by RFID.

    Sure, the ID# doesn't provide any personal information by itself, but now any personal information that is found (e.g., follows student to home address) can now be uniquely associated with that student and tracked. The exact reason why a unique ID is useful in the school context is also why it would be equally useful in other contexts. If it works at all, then, yes, it does "work off campus". The fact that you can't access the school's database mapping from RFID to student personal information is irrelevant. Someone could build their own database.

    • by sootman (158191)

      > The fact that you can't access the school's database mapping from
      > RFID to student personal information is irrelevant. Someone could
      > build their own database.

      Or just wait until someone loses a laptop. [slashdot.org]

  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @09:40AM (#42531067)

    Andrea Hernandez is the student who refused to wear the badge because she believed it was the 'mark of the beast' and offended her religion. This case wasn't just about privacy. It was also about the boundry when a person's religion conflicts with secular regulations.

    • Easy Fix... (Score:5, Funny)

      by kuhnto (1904624) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @09:53AM (#42531207)
      Easy Fix... Give her two badges. Once see determines the one that is the Serial number "of the Beast" she can turn that one in.
    • by jellie (949898)

      That's the thing about the case that bothers me the most. I'm not religious so I'm a little biased, but what exactly does the ID card have to do with the so-called "mark of the beast"? The school has a right (and well, responsibility) to know where students are during school hours, and takes attendance because it only receives money when students show up. The school even offered to disable the RFID, which should have dealt with the "mark" issue. And like the situation involving the nurse fired for refusing

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Cigarra (652458)
      I don't buy that. I think this IS about privacy and individual rights, but they threw the religious nonsense to use the First Amendment in their favor. That's how it looks to me anyway.
    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      Andrea Hernandez is the student who refused to wear the badge because she believed it was the 'mark of the beast' and offended her religion. This case wasn't just about privacy. It was also about the boundry when a person's religion conflicts with secular regulations.

      But the compromise was to give her a badge without the chip and the family is still saying it is not acceptable. So, without the id tag, there is no mark of the beast, but evidently it is still a problem. That would seem to imply that some other issue is the real cause.

      I wonder if the parents had her immunized as required by state law to attend school. I only ask, not because of any religious objection to vaccinations, but at the doctor's office, your chart is coded with and id code. Why would the family

  • Well, they are about as useless off-campus as my thrown away bank documents that anyone with a decent brain could turn into money. People have been concerned about this same issue for years with passports--it just takes one terrorist to find out there's an 'american' in the room by scanning... and, well, you know the end of the story.
  • by SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @09:47AM (#42531143) Journal

    I'll bet if they gave each student a free cell phone (which "may or may not" contain tracking technology) that they can keep with themselves during school, they'd be ALL over that!

    • This. I'd say bundle it with a free android tablet or whatever, and require that tablet be on hand for class assignments and presentations. Social engineering beats legislation every time.

  • Literally, toss it in the microwave and nuke it for a few seconds, that will destroy any electronics in it, leaving the badge in tact (well mostly except for maybe a few burn marks...

  • ...by claiming that the active RFIDs magically deactivate themselves when off school property?"

    No. They are probably stupid enough to believe it.

  • by ilsaloving (1534307) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @10:23AM (#42531505)

    And after all, these kids are a product of their generation!

    *rimshot*

  • by artfulshrapnel (1893096) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @10:25AM (#42531541)

    They're being totally unreasonable. According to the legal document linked, the school actually offered to compromise and allow her to wear a badge with no RFID chip at all. They just needed to give her something with a barcode or whatever so she could check out books in the library and pay for school lunches under the new system. The dad still refused because the badge was now "the mark of the beast" and they would not "go against the teachings of the LORD." [emphasis not mine]

    Thing is, she already carries a badge every day under their current system. He's claiming that a simple piece of ID has now become the work of Satan because someone asked to put an RFID chip in it, even if they change their mind and agree not to.

    • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @11:07AM (#42532033)

      According to the legal document linked, the school actually offered to compromise and allow her to wear a badge with no RFID chip at all.

      The condition on that "compromise" was that she and her parents would not share their objections to the program with others (my recollection was that it actually went so far as to ask them to endorse the program, but I may be remembering that incorrectly). In addition, they were not allowed to tell anyone else that they had reached this accommodation with the school district.

  • by wcrowe (94389) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @10:29AM (#42531589)

    Every student should refuse to wear the badges. They don't have to destroy the badges or anything like that. Just get together and toss them in a big pile. Problem solved. They're not going to suspend every single student. Of course I come from the tail end of a generation where burning draft cards, holding sit-ins and other acts of civil disobedience were not such a foreign idea.

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      Every student should refuse to wear the badges. They don't have to destroy the badges or anything like that. Just get together and toss them in a big pile. Problem solved. They're not going to suspend every single student. Of course I come from the tail end of a generation where burning draft cards, holding sit-ins and other acts of civil disobedience were not such a foreign idea.

      The compromise proposed was a student id without an RFID chip in it. Are you saying that students shouldn't even have to have student IDs or just RFID enabled ones?

  • The family objects to any ID that has a number on it for religious reasons. They were offered a school ID without RFID and they turned it down.
    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      The family objects to any ID that has a number on it for religious reasons. They were offered a school ID without RFID and they turned it down.

      What about drivers license, social security, bank accounts, postal address, ip address, etc. I don't mean to mock their religious beliefs, but I am curious at what level they are willing to compromise their values (if any)?

      • by macshome (818789)
        Apparently they refuse to carry anything that would identify them with the "mark of the beast".
  • I'm glad this failed, I'm glad because her entire argument fell back on religion and people have to learn that well you can believe what ever you want you can't use that belief to circumvent the rules. She was offered more then fair alternative and yet she still decided to have a fit, well now maybe she can see that well she has the right to religion, it can stay in the church and not enter everywhere else.
    • Counterpoint: I would have liked to see her be successful. There is no reason for government to be operating schools. In an ideal situation, government provides a stipend for education and the student picks an appropriate school. Private schools are not limited by the Bill of Rights and can implement whatever policies they like with the restriction that they're still trying to attract students. The whole point of the Bill of Rights is to limit government.

  • They would have declared here a distinct society and built her a special school just for her already..

  • I fall into that heavy geek group of go-fuck-yourself when you want to search me, track me, or otherwise invade my privacy or my right to not be cattle. However, I could do without people like her standing up and taking on that position, publicly. The taint of religious idiocy just contaminates everyone else who actually takes issue with it for real-world concerns and sensibilities that don't involve the battle of two deities and an attempt by some "new world order" to track a human being by some goofy stam

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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