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Tracking People?!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Tracking of students? http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6942751/

National ID Cards on the way?

No way you say? The question, 'why not?' would probably result in a scoff from most people. I don't want to be tracked, the government can't force me to carry a national ID card, and I do not want big brother in my life are just a few answers one could expect. How many state and federal government enforced identification systems were first 'controversial' and now just another fact of life? 'There is a way to make kids safer without making them feel like a piece of inventory.' - Michael Cantrall parent of two students in the California Program.

Would you accept a number that is assigned to you from cradle until grave and mandated by law at birth? If you are an American, I am betting you have a social security number that is exactly that. Would you carry around a tracking device that is legally admissible in court of law able to triangulate your exact position? If you carry a cell phone, you don't mind so much. Is this really a conspiracy theory or just part of our convenient life today? RFID is obviously starting with internal supply chain integration. At it's inception it's application was originally friend or foe identification. This year begins the application of supply chain through track and trace.

Not a year has passed and other applications that are emerging such as track and trace of students. Identity technology will be speeding up with each passing month. When you perfect systems, one can start running with possibilities. Imagine a key fob on every student's backpack. Each class could automatically report present, tardy, sick, and skipping students may be reported and printed with the report card with a detailed to an integrated student database of grades. Time would be saved and more time could be spent efficiently. Role in assemblies would be automatic and real time. School security could have associated student fob and vehicle fobs. The Principal, Earnie Graham hopes to eventually add bar codes to the existing ID's so that students can use them to pay for cafeteria meals and check out library books.The possibilities go on. This takes school administration to the next level, and another identity application through RFID will take hold.
2/16/2005 08:16:00 PM :: ::
  • A key fob on every student's backpack... Not that bullies would rip them off and use them to place others at the scene of juvenile criminal acts. If they would have been around in my day, I would have been the one framed.

    There are strategies taught to minimize non-productive learning time, including roll call, that are taught in colleges of education, child and adult. Is three minutes a day (if you don't take advantage of these techniques) a weightier issue than overdependence on technology to teach the basics? Or teachers in public schools on "tenure" that are inefficient and don't produce? I think not.

    IDs with barcodes for lunch, no big deal. You have visual authentication, for true two-factor (something you have, something you are) authentication.

    There already are "detailed databases" of grades and attendance; they're called gradebooks. Overcomplicating simple tasks looking for false effencincies are one of the reasons people shun technology... Tech just for the sake of tech.

    RFID advocates beware: many more stories like this, and people will associate RFID with Orwell and evil, right or no, and it will be a stillborn product. You must show great sensitivity to real or imagined fears of people, and reassure people, through deed and action, that you are more worried about them than they are.

    Stick to pallets and boxes, not Polo shirts and people. Tag plane parts, not boarding passes. Don't tag my guns, my 20 round boxes of ammo, my condoms, your wife's pills, or my underwear.

    at February 17, 2005 6:50 PM  
  • RFID is a technology that has been in use for over a decade. It is not new, the applications for the technology are expanding and the technology itself is improving. That being said, every application of a given technology can be debated as to the good or evil. Therefore, I will not be debating that. Instead let's think about innovation itself as the basis for this post.
    Innovation usually happens because we want to improve on an idea, or expand into an area that already has a solution and improve it.
    Simply put RFID, along with a glance up from a teacher, offers an updated approach to attendence taking while offering all the additional benefits talked about in the initial post.(Printed info on report cards..etc.)
    Now on to privacy concerns. Look, if you are so concerned about privacy that you don't want the government to know where you are every second, or be spying on you, I can completely respect that.( The idea of big brother spying on me isn't high on my list either.) But does a national ID card actually invade our privacy? If so give me a concrete example.
    We drive cars with drivers licenses, we buy stamps with our debit cards, we obtain social security benefits through our SSC, we even go to k-12, and college with specific ID's. The difference here is not just one of privacy but one of choice. We choose to get drivers licenses, benefits, stamps, and public educations. We choose to live in a society that provides all those things. We also live in a place where child rapists are, terrorists can pretty freely move about, and the list of hiddious crimes could go on, my point is privacy is a great thing until you find out that by being overly paranoid about it, you allowed a terrorist group to execute the next 9/11.
    RFID by itself is not going to enable the government to spy on the actions of indivduals. It is going to allow government departments to better do their jobs.
    Are there risks to privacy, yup. But like every other system, it is not the technology itself that is the problem, but the applicatioin there of.
    Our government is built of checks and balances, every system that we put in place to aid our government in it's duties to the public, should have those same priciples applied. One day will RFID technology possibly be utlized aganist us, yes it is possible, but it is the responsibility of all of us to participate to ensure the risks of that happening are kept to a minimum, not to stop innovating simply because of the fear of the unknown. 

    Posted by Kerberose

    at May 12, 2005 7:39 AM  


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