There’s money to be made in the cattle-style tracking of kids with RFID-chip IDs, and so the practice may become widespread, Wired writes:
Two schools at the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio began issuing the RFID-chip-laden student-body cards when classes began last Monday. Like most state-financed schools, their budgets are tied to average daily attendance. If a student is not in his seat during morning roll call, the district doesn’t receive daily funding for that pupil. But with the RFID tracking, students not at their desk but tracked on campus are counted as being in school that day, and the district receives its daily allotment for that student.
There appears to be dozens of companies who…offer their RFID wares to monitor students in what is still a tiny but growing market. Among the biggest companies in the market: AT&T.
About two dozen health and privacy advocates who signed an August position paper blasting the use of RFID chips in schools. The paper, which included signatures from the American Civil Liberties Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation and, among others, Big Brother Watch, said the RFID systems may have “potential” (.pdf) health risks, too.
“RFID systems emit electromagnetic radiation, and there are lingering questions about whether human health might be affected in environments where the reading devices are pervasive,” the paper said. “This concern and the dehumanizing effects of ubiquitous surveillance may place additional stress on students, parents, and teachers.”
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