RFID Tracks School Kids

Wal-Mart's got nothing on this UK high school

November 1, 2007

1 Min Read
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If you yearn nostalgically for the era before instant messaging and Blackberries, then spare a thought for high school students in the north of England who have become true prisoners of technology.

Ten students at Hungerhill School in Edenthorpe, South Yorkshire, are currently being tracked by RFID chips embedded within their school uniforms as part of a trial to monitor their movements around the school buildings.

By keeping track of RFID chips in the school badges on the pupils' blazers, teachers will be able to monitor attendance on a computerized system and could even block access to certain parts of the school, according to the Doncaster Free Press newspaper.

RFID is already used to track foodstuffs, aircraft parts, and even medical equipment, but monitoring high schoolers must be a first for the technology.

Not surprisingly, civil liberties campaigners are up in arms about this use of RFID, which could set a precedent for other schools in the UK and elsewhere.With the use of RFID on the rise, we should expect to see much more of this type of controversy over the next few years. Monitoring pallets and pieces of meat is one thing, but turning people into radio signals is just a little bit too Orwellian.

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