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Texas State Rep. Files 2 Bills To Ban RFID In Schools 297

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-track-zone dept.
BeatTheChip writes "The day Andrea Hernandez lost her federal case against expulsion for refusing a school mandated RFID badge, Rep. Lois Kolkhorst moved to file two bills on the first day of the Texas Legislative session. Kolkhorst has sponsored several anti-RFID bills for schools over the years. This year they are HB 101 and HB 102."
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Texas State Rep. Files 2 Bills To Ban RFID In Schools

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  • by sam_vilain (33533) <sam AT vilain DOT net> on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @09:02PM (#42540793) Homepage
    I mean, it's not like the kids have to be implanted with the badges. You can easily leave the badge somewhere if you want to go somewhere naughty. Is there something I've missed?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @09:20PM (#42540941)

      Because some people have a sense of dignity and object to being treated like cattle.

      • Because some people have a sense of dignity and object to being treated like cattle.

        If these hypothetical people equate RFID badges to the undignified and bovine because it might allow someone to track their movements, I can only assume they also don't work at any place that requires keycards or ID badges for entry (most are RFID-based), carry no credit cards, have no plans on ever leaving the country (passport), don't own a cell phone, do not drive a car (automated number plate recognition), only buy from an increasingly-limited number of stores who don't embed RFID tags in their products

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          If these hypothetical people equate RFID badges to the undignified and bovine because it might allow someone to track their movements, I can only assume they also don't work at any place that requires keycards or ID badges for entry (most are RFID-based), carry no credit cards, have no plans on ever leaving the country (passport), don't own a cell phone, do not drive a car (automated number plate recognition), only buy from an increasingly-limited number of stores who don't embed RFID tags in their products

          • posting their location all over Facebook, FourSquare, G+, and all the dozens of other places

            By choice.

            And they carry cellphones

            By choice.

        • carry no credit cards

          It not only sounds obviously dangerous and stupid to own a credit card with a NFC tag it has been demonstrated to be dangerous and stupid.

          None of my cards have radio tags and that will never change.

          have no plans on ever leaving the country (passport),

          My passport does not have RFID. If my next one does ebay is your friend. No shortage of rfid blocking wallets and cases. Its your CHOICE.

          don't own a cell phone

          Cell phones can be turned off.

          only buy from an increasingly-limited number of stores who don't embed RFID tags in their products for inventory control

          RFID-tagged pills on things like pain medication, etc., for medication management is in the works

          Don't confuse the rumblings of industry marketeers with reality.

          Pray tell, where do these hypothetical people live, with the Amish? RFID is everywhere. It is a pervasive technology

          Lets assume RFID was everywhere what would your point be?

    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @09:42PM (#42541151)

      Is there something I've missed?

      Yup. The accounting scheme by which schools are funded. It's not based on the number of students attending a school, but the number of seat hours. RFID offers a better way of tracking students while they're on campus, which in turn increases the number of seat hours while holding down the costs of keeping detailed attendance records. It actually has absolutely nothing to do with tracking students. You know those little ID batches you have to wear to work (office workers everywhere know this)? Same technology. Adults do it all the time, and nobody complains about how MegaCorp Inc is watching where they're going once they're off work because they're carrying an RFID card. Your credit card probably has an RFID too. Your cell phone may even have one. The crap you buy at the superstore... yup, there too.

      But stick it on a kid and suddenly everyone goes full retard. As if.

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        As adults we're using those badges to get into and out of the buildings, and to watch for non-employees from sneaking in and stealing secrets. Currently all the ones I've used do not have RFID, someone asks to see your badge and you show it without having it automatically scanned (most places anyway). But with these RFID badges in schools they are capable of tracking the students movements, knowing where they go and when, and the primary purpose of the badges is monitoring.

        Now if work places started using

        • Now if work places started using badges to monitor how long everyone was at their workspace then you'd certainly see a lot of objections to that spring up.

          Yes, we're certainly fortunate your employer doesn't know whether or even when you're at work. Such a technological advancement would never be tolerated.

      • by sam_vilain (33533)

        RFID offers a better way of tracking students while they're on campus, which in turn increases the number of seat hours while holding down the costs of keeping detailed attendance records.

        If anything, this strikes me as a benefit. All the teacher then has to do is a head count, I guess. Assuming that children and teachers don't conspire to arrange for a perfect attendance, discrepancies should catch either side gaming the measurement.

        But stick it on a kid and suddenly everyone goes full retard. As if.

        Bes

        • Assuming that children and teachers don't conspire to arrange for a perfect attendance, discrepancies should catch either side gaming the measurement.

          That depends on children, teenagers and government employees being honest.

          Besides, it's nothing that can't be solved with a suitable application of Faraday cages ;-)

          That'll make the parents who insist wifi and cell phones are making them sick happy, atleast...

      • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @10:38PM (#42541625)
        Except that most ID badges aren't being used to track where I am at the office. They aren't being used to see if I'm there at work, they're being used to let me into the building, more of a virtual key. There's a HUGE difference between an electronic key and being treated like cattle.
        • by AK Marc (707885)
          They aren't really being used to track the kids either. They "can" and that's enough to set off lots of people. I have to swipe in and out of multiple doors at work. Maybe they don't track me, but it would be trivial for them to do so. I've worked other places where bored executives do track people. They want to see when people get to work and how long they stay. Much like most companies don't read everyone's email, but the capabilities are there, and some people do. I know I have, though only under
          • Sure, but you can't really "opt-out" of a public school as a kid. If you have the cash you can go to a private school or if your parents don't work you can be home-schooled, but those are small exceptions. And if the student believes the RFID tags are invading their privacy and the parents don't want to fight it, they are stuck there.

            On the other hand, if I think that RFID is invading my privacy at work, I can quit and go to one of the many jobs that don't use RFID. A student doesn't have that luxury.
          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            They aren't really being used to track the kids either. They "can" and that's enough to set off lots of people

            Unfortunately "can" translates to "will" given enough time, we've seen that time and again whether it's forcing kids to take off shirts with religious messages (which has happened) or whether it's this. Employers don't track employees because they won't stand for it. But if we train them to accept it as kids, they sure will. This is the first stage of acceptance training. Remember, our grade school system was not designed to maximize learning. It was designed to produce obedient factory workers and soldiers

        • As someone who's admin'd a smart card based access system, I can tell you that I know exactly when you got into the building, when you went for coffee, which route you take through the building and how long you take walking it... I can even tell you if you prefer to take a dump in the morning or afternoon just by which doors you use and when you return through them.

          Just because all that you see is "My card lets me through this door, but not through that door" doesn't mean that is the only functionality ava
      • by peragrin (659227)

        Not only that but public schools are basically educational veal farms.

        You lock the kids into certain rooms during the day, don't let them leave and test them periodically to see if they average out to make the grade like cattle. Schools get more money for meeting average and having kids pass tests, but all the kids learn is how to pass the test not learn how to think.

        The best part is for the last 30 years schools on average lose money, have funding cut etc. Then we wonder why they struggle. sports, band,

      • by tompaulco (629533)
        RFID offers a better way of tracking students while they're on campus
        Well, not necessarily better, but certainly more expensive and invasive.
      • You know those little ID batches you have to wear to work (office workers everywhere know this)? Same technology. Adults do it all the time, and nobody complains about how MegaCorp Inc is watching where they're going once they're off work because they're carrying an RFID card.

        That's because Adults get to decide where they work, and if they're worried about carrying 'the mark of the Beast' or whatever religious belief, then they can choose to quit and work elsewhere. It's true the kids could quit school too, but it's not nearly as easy because of zoning and their parents might not be able to home school them, and the schooling is mandatory so they can't just protest by not attending.

        Not that I'm saying it's rational thinking, just explaining since you don't seem to understan

      • by Baloroth (2370816)

        You know those little ID batches you have to wear to work (office workers everywhere know this)? Same technology. Adults do it all the time, and nobody complains about how MegaCorp Inc is watching where they're going once they're off work because they're carrying an RFID card.

        Nope, don't have one of those.

        Your credit card probably has an RFID too.

        Nope.

        Your cell phone may even have one.

        Well, sort of, they have to communicate with towers. Cell phones have RFID built in by definition, thats how they work.

        The crap you buy at the superstore... yup, there too.

        Aaand nope. Some of the newer ones, maybe, and expensive product is generally tagged with a badge that sets off the exit alarms, but it gets removed/disabled after you walk out, and it doesn't track the movement through the store (that stuff is far more expensive than most megamarts are willing to spring for). Besides, I'm not exactly going to complain ov

      • by Mitreya (579078)

        RFID offers a better way of tracking students while they're on campus, which in turn increases the number of seat hours while holding down the costs of keeping detailed attendance records.

        Except that it doesn't! How can you verify that the student associated with the RFID is actually in school? They can just skip school and have a friend buzz them in.

        It actually has absolutely nothing to do with tracking students.

        It enables _others_ to track students (potentially). At least during school, possibly outside schools if students do not actively disable RFIDs every day.

        You know those little ID batches you have to wear to work (office workers everywhere know this)?

        You know how you don't have to work at such job? Students HAVE to go to school. They may even not have too many options to switch schools (like you could with a job) as public schools are usual

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Follow the funding. A blob of plastic over a chip, been sold to one area today. Then the county, state. Once a few big states have it- nation wide.
      This will ensure a generation thinks they are tracked everyday.
      Recall what the 'free' laptops with webcams did in US schools?
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robbins_v._Lower_Merion_School_District [wikipedia.org] ie the ... "seeing him eating the candy in a webcam image"
      • by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @10:25PM (#42541523)

        Recall what the 'free' laptops with webcams did in US schools?

        Just wait until this guy finds out what teenagers do with the ones their parents paid for. In other news, sometimes people drink and drive. The solution is therefore to ban cars. Sometimes people shoot other people. Solution? Ban guns. And sometimes, very rarely, people on the internet say stupid things. Obviously... we need to ban the internet too. Or perhaps we should just accept that sometimes people do stupid things, and rather than punish everybody, we just punish the stupid people. Unless of course children are involved, in which case, feel free to go bat shiat crazy. It's the popular thing to do right now. I'm looking at you, Obama.

    • Yes. Being tracked violates people's privacy. I know that things like privacy are outdated concepts, especially compared to the interests of business, but some of US still feel it is a fight worth fighting.

      The more information you give to third parties about you the more control you give up over your live. The less the government and companies can know about you the better.
    • I mean, it's not like the kids have to be implanted with the badges. You can easily leave the badge somewhere if you want to go somewhere naughty. Is there something I've missed?

      RFID tags can be read over large distances with proper equipment. This data can then be used by anyone including pedo stalkers and family members with restraining orders against them to wholesale spy on the movements of students.

      It could also be used to trigger hidden explosives or other harmful devices when the right people are present.

      Since there is no assured association between badge holder and the student due to lack of implantation it would increase the chance of teacher laziness in dealing with atte

      • by AK Marc (707885)

        RFID tags can be read over large distances with proper equipment.

        No, they can't. Secondly, if that's an issue, shield the school so they can never be read through a school wall.

        This data can then be used by anyone including pedo stalkers and family members with restraining orders against them to wholesale spy on the movements of students.

        So can eyes, so lets outlaw eyes.

        It could also be used to trigger hidden explosives or other harmful devices when the right people are present.

        A cell phone trigger with someone looking in through a window would work better, so paint all the windows green.

        There are no new problems caused by RFID, just a few non-problems made worse, into still-non-problems. Yawn.

      • by sl149q (1537343)

        Hollywood is on the phone, they want their screenplay back!

  • The large Texas schools have a 1 to 1 program (all kids have laptops). If they are not able to trace an object a kid wouldn't leave laying around why would they think they could trace something a kid would ditch first chance they get?

  • Trying to ban RTFA? Sounds good to me.

  • I love how... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anubis IV (1279820) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @09:26PM (#42541019)

    I love how /. rightfully rails against the erosion of rights that occurred as a result of the decision in Andrea Hernandez' case, but then the first comments here are almost all attacking the bill's intent and the representative as being a religious nut from Texas. Whether that's true or not (I don't know this representative, so I couldn't say, nor have I read the article or bills) is irrelevant.

    Religion doesn't always have to be against what the /. groupthink believes is right. In this case, religious nuts may be off-base, but they came to the right conclusion regardless. Even if their math doesn't add up correctly, we can all agree that it's the right solution.

    *said by a deeply religious person who thinks the religious nuts in this whole mess really are nuts*

    • Re:I love how... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TooMuchToDo (882796) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @09:39PM (#42541125)

      RFID tags in school IDs isn't an erosion of rights unless you're a crackpot. These same students will have RFID tags in their driver's license when they're old enough to drive and if their state has enhanced ID systems.

      • Re:I love how... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anubis IV (1279820) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @09:51PM (#42541237)

        You do realize that citing more examples of ways that our right to privacy is already being infringed or violated is not exactly a great way to make your point, right?

        • Can you explain to me how an RFID tag is any more of a violation of your right to privacy than being constantly filmed/taped in public? Because courts have already ruled for quite a while that you have no expectation of privacy in public (as you shouldn't). You may not agree, but I fall on the side that "If you're in public, it's public". I say that now, and I say that under the assumption that in the future everything I do in public will be recorded by hundreds of different sensors, devices, and cameras.

          Wh

          • by Rockoon (1252108)
            Lets examine your argument from another angle, shall we?

            Are you suggesting that the mandatory implanting of RFID tags in everyone is only bad because its a form of surgery, that its not a privacy violation?

            Now show me your papers, please.
          • Simple. Camera information will be used when something happens at some public place and people go there looking for the registers. You can't single the films /tapes of a given person. It is much less invasive than a RFID that can trace all your movements and position in a given environment, and bring information like:

            - Mr Anderson was alone with Miss Smith at the same physical spot for 30 min in the corridor, this morning.

            - Jane Doe went to the bathroom 15 times today.

            - Mr Black was talking with th
            • by AK Marc (707885)
              All of that is available on video today. The only difference is it's harder to extract it.
              • No, not all of it is available on video today. There are not cameras everywhere, especially in bathrooms. Even in the corridor example it would be a simple matter to avoid a camera.

                And even the information were the same, it makes all the difference in the world how easy is to index it. I would challenge you to find all the video records made by city cameras that contain Jane Doe in the last month. Good luck with that. Even with high end image recognition algorithms you will be hard pressed to get even a
                • by AK Marc (707885)
                  Video is much much more invasive if you know who you are tracking before you start. RFID is easier to pull up months of data to track, but, having been RFID tracked at lots of different companies over the last 10+ years (in some cases, I was in IT running the tracking), RFID is mostly useless for anything more than when someone got in and when they left. Which is no more than what they want from the students.
            • by sl149q (1537343)

              If you don't think that facial recognition software couple with (lots of ) HD video cameras can't do exactly the same as an RFID chip you are simply smoking something illegal (except maybe in Seattle and Denver sort of.) Just more expensive.

          • What are you going to do? Hide in your house?

            You say that as if it isn't what I already do when left to myself. ;)

            More seriously though, the sort of RFID being used in the Andrea Hernandez case had all sorts of issues that don't apply to videotaping in public. For instance, that type of RFID (battery powered, active RFID) could be read from rather large distances, meaning that it would be trivial to check and see if someone was at home or at a particular place (think wardriving [wikipedia.org], but looking for a lack of RFID rather than looking for a presence of WiFi

          • by sl149q (1537343)

            Or simply having hall monitors and school guards just actually watching kids enter and exit...

            If you are really worried about privacy I'm not sure how you can not complain about the teacher taking attendance. That is also an invasion of your privacy.

        • by AK Marc (707885)
          If it is a violation of rights, why does it already happen in so many other ways for so many other people? Sounds like it is not a violation of rights, but is a continuance of acceptable monitoring.
      • Well there we go, only a "crackpot" would object to being tagged and tracked like cattle. I tell you what, since you say there is nothing wrong with it, why don't you let me tag and track you, your wife and kids? Oh you don't like that, what's the matter, are you some sort of crackpot?
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by TooMuchToDo (882796)

          I'm ok with that. My passport already has an RFID tag, my electronic toll device on all of my vehicles, my debit card, my american express charge card.

          So yeah, get with the times gramps. "OH NOES! Devices on us can track us when they encounter an RFID reader within a few feet of our person!" Going to get rid of your cellphone? The same one that has its location based on cell tower triangulation recorded constantly and the data is provided to law enforcement without a warrant?

          • The more devices like this you have attached to you the less likely you will get any privacy. The fact that some exist, and some are even mandatory, does not make it acceptable to impose more. Actually even those mandatory ones, like passports, are abusive in my view.

            If you opt for being tracked it is your choice, but nobody should be forced to accept it.
          • by Rockoon (1252108)
            If your credit and debit cards have RFID's so many years after they were discovered to be flawed and a huge security risk, then maybe you are a complete idiot.
            • by AK Marc (707885)
              It's not my liability. If the bank is willing to accept the risk, why should I care?
              • by Rockoon (1252108)

                It's not my liability.

                Who convinced you of that?

                • by AK Marc (707885)
                  The written contract that came with the card limiting my liability to $0.
                  • by Rockoon (1252108)
                    In the case of debit cards, thats in the event of the card being stolen, and you reporting it in a timely manner.

                    We arent talking about the card being stolen. We are talking about the cards information being copied and abused, and in the case of a debit card, the cards information are the keys to your checking account. Thats not a debit transaction that took all your money.
                    • My Platinum American Express was possibly skimmed when I flew from Chicago to Amsterdam a month ago; someone tried to use the information (not the card, the information) on Amazon, as well as at a hotel in Columbia. American Express immediately locked the card down, overnighted me a new card at no cost to myself, and told me I wasn't liable for any transactions I didn't make).

                      After your comment, I checked with my bank (PNC); they said I'm not liable *whatsoever* for any charges I did not make, whether the c

          • I'll repeat: you do realize that citing more examples of ways that our right to privacy is already being infringed or violated is not exactly a great way to make your point, right?

            Just because cell phones can track us does not mean that it's acceptable for them to be doing so. Just because one abuse has occurred does not mean we must tolerate more. Just because you're okay with sacrificing a right you don't exercise does not mean that others of us who also don't exercise it feel that the right should be sac

            • You have yet to outline how having an RFID chip in a school ID or a driver's license is a violation of someone's privacy.

    • by tompaulco (629533)
      Because it doesn't matter if you have the best idea in the world, if you believe in God, your idea needs to be ridiculed and shot down. Remember, you should judge people based on their religion, not on their actions.
    • by fermion (181285)
      In this case though it matters. This bill was put forth last time in the 82 session and failed. The main purpose of the 82nd session was to defund public schools, create charters that funnel taxpayer money to religious groups, and limit the health care of teens.

      The republican platform in texas is explicitly against the teaching of critical thinking. This is problem solving. How can we have a geek culture without problem solving. When we are talking about the religious nuts trying to destroy america,

  • My View (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Murdoch5 (1563847) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @10:26PM (#42541529)
    RFID can have its place in schools, for young kids I think it's a great idea, for teens not so much. However another interesting point is that RFID tags could introduce a new level of security in schools. If you have 200 kids and teachers all armed with RFID tags then you can simply lock the doors for the day and not let anyone else in, why is this a good idea? Simple school shooters, they can't get in the school so potentially you create a safer environment. Another great feature is being able to detect if your kids is skipping school or not! No more attendance and calls home.

    Now as for people who have privacy issues with it, I can understand where your coming from however when you want to argue it DO NOT QUOTE RELIGION! The entire issue I have with Andrea is that she tried to being her faith as a reason to not wear a badge. You can't use this kind of argument, if you allow it then you must allow EVERY SINGLE religion based argument with no issue. I could just as easily state that my religion states I must bring semi automatic guns into the classroom and as soon as I say that you have to allow it! Or I could say something like I don't allow people of color in the classroom, then you need to make accommodations. Hence why I think when you fall back to religion as an argument you don't make a good case.

    If your arguments however are focused on privacy and personal space and all of that then you have a case to fight and I'll stand behind you. Pick logic over god and I'll stand there and agree with you, pick god over logic and your out before you start. If RFID can be brought into the classroom with out invading the privacy of students and without being used as a means to an end of targeted advertising then it's a good idea!
    • by Mitreya (579078)

      Another great feature is being able to detect if your kids is skipping school or not!

      Ignoring the privacy issues, what is it that makes you think that 200 RFID tags on school premises equals 200 kids? All that tells you is that there is 1 or more kids in school and these kids are carrying around 200 RFID tags.

    • by rally2xs (1093023)

      Oh, the school shooter can't get in the school? Hahahahahahaha! The last one just shot out the (glass) door. Got windows in the place? He'll come in thru a window, maybe shooting it out. Put bars on the windows? There's "Murphy's Laws of Combat" that states, "Make it tough for the enemy to get in and... you can't get out!" That's like in a fire, or some terrorist poison gas attack, or whatever. And besides, do you want your school to look like a prison? Yeah, how about some 20 ft. high chain link w

  • by bcrowell (177657) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @11:03PM (#42541831) Homepage

    Hallelujah!

    (a) High school is already enough of a dehumanizing experience.

    (b) I have two teenage kids. Their generation is growing up thinking that it's some kind of crime to walk home from school and kick pinecones instead of getting driven straight to soccer practice and then SAT prep.

    (c) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slippery_slope [wikipedia.org]

  • by slashmydots (2189826) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @11:03PM (#42541833)
    I think they're forgetting the first fact, which is this is so falsifiable, it's comical. One badge on your shirt, the other in your pocket. Tada, you and your friend attended class. It's idiotic and a complete joke of a system.

    Okay, you can all go back to ethics and morals now, lol.

    By the way, the political bill-namers could have a field day with this one! Anti-children as livestock bill. Anti-child tracking bill. Kid-tagging bill. Pretty much any title sounds bad, let alone if they try to do it on purpose.
  • RFID all guns and/or bullets and let people have guns in school. Voila I am a genius
  • Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children? Why, the RFID system will be able to detect when unauthorized people are on school grounds. All we have to do is get the unauthorized people to wear a badge that has been programmed to say that they are unauthorized.
  • by Kr1ll1n (579971) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @11:35PM (#42542097)

    When Slashdot, once a bastion of personal liberties, has about a 50/50 representation of people that are FOR this egregious erosion of freedom, and those that are not.

    1. Do you know the backgrounds of all people that will have access to the system?
    2. Do you have the source code to the management system to ensure it is secure?
    3. Do you know for a fact that the tech isn't susceptible to a man-in-the-middle attack?
    4. SCOTUS already ruled that GPS tracking should require a warrant, so our kids deserve less?

    If you can answer no to any of the above, and still support this erosion of civil liberties, than I suppose it is time I actually purchase a firearm. If you want to "track" my child, let's see how well you can track your own internal organs once I am done with you. You people are sick.

    The Federal and State Government's are not God. Science is not God. Stop assuming they know what's best for me, and what's best for you. Stop assuming they will always have society's best interests in mind. They have both been wrong numerous times, and will continue to get things wrong as long as a human being is involved. REGARDLESS if you believe in God or not. Putting things in charge of your life, as well as others, is turning them into a diety, and takes a special kind of stupid to assume that it is "the right thing to do".

  • are these school officials going to be allowed to go in trying to control every movement and thought that a student might possibly have or make? And how much money are the taxpayers going to have to provide in order to pay for this draconian, futuristic BS?

    We didn't have this nonsense when I went to school and nobody died. Yeah, some guys got away with smoking in the boys room. BFD. This is spending money just to be spending money, I think. Its a "just say no" situation.

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