[Ubicomp] [Tech] [Privacy] RFIDs in Schools

Same old story with ubicomp technologies:

  • No real value proposition
  • Even worse, exposes students to new risks
  • Probably no real thought on how to protect the data
  • Very likely little thought on how to scope the system properly
  • Doubtful if they considered alternative architectures that collect the minimum amount of data to get the desired benefits




"Forcing my child to be tracked with a RFID device – without our consent or knowledge – is a complete invasion of our privacy," said Michael and Dawn Cantrall. "Our 7th grader came home wearing the ID badge prominently displayed around her neck– if a predator wanted to target my child, the mandatory school ID card has just made that task easier." The Cantralls filed a formal complaint against the Brittan Elementary School Board in Sutter, California on January 30th after meeting with several school officials.

"The monitoring of children with RFID tags is comparable to the tracking of cattle, shipment pallets, or very dangerous criminals in high-security prisons. Compelling children to be constantly tracked with RFID-trackable identity badges breaches their right to privacy and dignity as human beings. Forcing children to wear badges around their necks displaying such sensitive information as their name, picture, grade and school exposes them to potential discrimination since the name of their school may disclose their religious beliefs or social class," said C├ędric Laurant, Policy Counsel with EPIC.

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