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297 comments

Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (5, Insightful)

sam_vilain (33533) | about a year ago | (#42540793)

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?

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42540843)

You've missed the part where religious nuts are nuts.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (4, Insightful)

Sarius64 (880298) | about a year ago | (#42541683)

Because over-zealous administrators and government officials that deem it necessary to control every moment of a human being's life could not possibly be the nut in the equation.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541847)

Brat posts something to facebook, or tweets something, parent finds out, parents calls principal to find out why their brat is facebooking/tweeting or the iPhone the parent gave them when they should be in class studying.

The administrators don't like bitchy helicopter parents calling them up and harassing them about where their brat is all the time or what their brat is doing.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (1)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | about a year ago | (#42542063)

Still doesn't justify tracking students inside (and outside, if you read the claims) school grounds and times.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (2)

Xeranar (2029624) | about a year ago | (#42542067)

You wear an RFID badge if you work in a high-tech firm. You wear an RFID badge if you work in a high-security building. You wear an RFID badge in numerous situations that employ lawyers, engineers, and various other professionals. Why is this an issue? Oh that's right, it is /. and any of normal monitoring and security is an infringement of their constitutional right to be a belligerent dick.

Side note: Yes, schools can do this. Is it right or wrong? Really depends on how they use it but it is how you use the technology not the technology itself.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (4, Insightful)

Ferzerp (83619) | about a year ago | (#42542209)

In every example that you present, you are in the environment due to your own choice. You are free to refuse the badge and leave at any time. Therein lies the difference.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542337)

You are free to take your kid out of school and homeschool them if you're scared of government intrusion blah blah blah shut up

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (4, Insightful)

Ferzerp (83619) | about a year ago | (#42541717)

One need not be a religious nut to see the danger in indoctrinating children to accept this level of location tracking, even if it is only within the confines of a school, it still opens the door to more by creating a generation of individual's who are less averse to privacy invasion due to familiarity.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541903)

While I feel a knee-jerk reaction against such privacy invasion myself, I am also open to the notion that the only way we will better understand human activity is to study it. As the schools aren't open about any such goal, and probably don't even have one I suppose we can discount it in this case. Data on human activity is of immense worth however, and to stand in the way of harvesting it for no rational reason is akin to religious nuttery.

As for the dangers of indoctrinating children. You are aware that whether by accident or design our youth are indoctrinated into society around them? Family does this foremost, society second and then the education system third. What exactly are the ill effects you perceive of more people knowing your shit? The next generation are telling everybody their shit voluntarily anyway. You can blame facebook for this, but if it was a decentralised network in the place of facebook I have no doubt that the behaviour would be little different.

Lastly, men who live in glass houses, should probably masturbate in the basement.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (3, Insightful)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | about a year ago | (#42542105)

I am also open to the notion that the only way we will better understand human activity is to study it.

If you want to do social studies then get consent from randomly selected citizens. A curiosity to study human nature in no way entitles anyone to track people *who cannot refuse to be tracked due to a massive power imbalance* (eg. pupils). To want to track people aligns with totalitarian and fascist impulses. The student in question was completely right to refuse to be tracked, and anyone who opposes it is completely wrong and against the freedoms in the spirit of the US Constitution. The fact that anyone would seek to justify such tracking beggars belief.

Can you really not figure out what comes next? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42540913)

What do you think the school authorities will require after they find the youth doing just what you propose? Oh, that's right, they'll demand that the tags be implanted so they can't be easily "misplaced".

Re:Can you really not figure out what comes next? (2)

Goaway (82658) | about a year ago | (#42541185)

Remember, if somebody you don't like hasn't actually done anything bad, you can just make something up and accuse them of that!

Re:Can you really not figure out what comes next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541505)

Remember, if somebody you don't like hasn't actually done anything bad, you can just make something up and accuse them of that!

That's what the framers of the constitution did, and they did a reasonably good job of preventing the tyranny they were afraid of until now.

Re:Can you really not figure out what comes next? (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#42541693)

That is how US laws are designed. The average lawful citizen commits three felonies a day. It is simply impossible to live without breaking any law. Your only protection is the lack of evidence about most of them. Make available more information about you and basically the government can put you to jail at its discretion.

Re:Can you really not figure out what comes next? (1)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about a year ago | (#42541719)

while it was a fun idea, the book that talked about that really never proved its statement.

Re:Can you really not figure out what comes next? (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#42541787)

There were several books that talked about that, not a single one. And even if they are all statistically wrong (or even didn't make any statistical analysis) you just need to glimpse the Federal Law Code to understand that it is simply impossible to follow all the laws. I leave you with an interesting video on the subject:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc [youtube.com]

Re:Can you really not figure out what comes next? (1)

Xeranar (2029624) | about a year ago | (#42542107)

Three FELONIES a day? Most people commit two misdemeanors a day, one is a traffic violation the other is jaywalking or littering. Felonies are fairly serious crimes and music downloading is a felony perhaps, the crime is still young in legal terms, we could change. /. is just getting stupider every day.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42540941)

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

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541497)

Back in line #42540941 !!

factory education is cheaper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541739)

Face it, factory education, and treating children like cattle in school is cheaper. Those schools have to be paid for with taxes. Decent education can be much more expensive than public schools with large class sizes. People that drop out of high school find that out first hand.

Re:factory education is cheaper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542033)

Fuck YOU. That is all.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#42542343)

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 for inventory control, and in the near future will have to avoid taking certain drugs (RFID-tagged pills on things like pain medication, etc., for medication management is in the works)...

Pray tell, where do these hypothetical people live, with the Amish? RFID is everywhere. It is a pervasive technology, and until someone suggested tagging high schoolers with them, nobody's sense of dignity and bovinity was called into question. I suspect there's a sense of something here that's driving most people who have a problem with this -- but it's not dignity.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541021)

Interesting. Guess they don't have a passport, NEXUS or probably SENTRI card, have a parent with a work ID card or a smart driver's license or a whole slew of government issue or corporate issue cards with chips in them...

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541141)

Let me further refine this. Please god, put me in an environment that thinks it knows my whereabouts and provides an alibi. I will gladly take my nap elsewhere. Stupid kid screwing up the system for everyone.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (4, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year ago | (#42541269)

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 badges to monitor how long everyone was at their workspace then you'd certainly see a lot of objections to that spring up.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#42541621)

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.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541293)

To catch a predator

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (1)

sam_vilain (33533) | about a year ago | (#42541335)

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.

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

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#42541579)

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...

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541587)

Adults get paid to have the RFID even if it means that they are being tracked, numbered, housed in little cubicals and cattled in and out of the building.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#42542091)

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 written orders from an exec for a specific purpose.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year ago | (#42542157)

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.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541675)

Not all of us work for mega corporations and even if we do we don't have to agree with with technologies our employers use. This is far more disturbing than companies tracking employees with the technology. I'd consider it more disturbing because as a student you don't have a choice on which schools to attend (generally speaking). It's a monopoly. Even where you do have some sort of choice it is unlikely that the schools will be significantly different. The schools are run by the same people (government) and regulated (this law which makes it a requirement to track detailed information).

You can argue that children have no rights. However that isn't true and even if some rights are not with the child they are generally transfered to the parent. Unfortunately there have been some bad rulings which say schools gain a limited parental right during school hours... thus they can to some extent punish, etc. However it is limited and this is why people are fighting things like this. Many of us think it goes to far as it is. It shouldn't be extended. Conservative or not (I'm not) we want the government off our back and our childrens.

I want government funded institutions. Not government run institutions. What we end up with unfortunately is the later. Give the people a choice, but make the government pay.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (1)

peragrin (659227) | about a year ago | (#42541705)

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, most arts those are paid extra's for schools now. and we wonder why kids are coming out dumber than ever.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541767)

The difference is that the schools have the power of forcing children to wear them. If you don't want to wear RDID badges as adults you can choose a job that doesn't have them (though may be easier said than done).

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year ago | (#42541851)

RFID offers a better way of tracking students while they're on campus
Well, not necessarily better, but certainly more expensive and invasive.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (1)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | about a year ago | (#42541861)

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.

That is its own perverseness, then. If anything RFID tags *should* be used to track students while on campus to keep a better history of who is showing up to which classes--coupled with a random sampling to verify that said tag is being used by said student.

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.

Um, plenty of people complain about MegaCorp Inc and others tracking them. They also worry about RFID tags in credit cards or other monetary cards being read and used elsewhere. The general feeling though is, well, what are you going to do about it? As you point out, RFID tags have become quite pervasive. In any case, for all the talk of it, at least adults generally have the luxury of avoiding or blocking RFID tags as they can choose where to work, where to shop, whether or not to buy a tin foil wallet, etc. Given school is mandatory...

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

Perhaps it's because they're kids and it's yet another example of the state forcing temporary guardianship over other people's children to seemingly indoctrinate them into accepting yet another potentially creepy privacy violation? I mean, for all the talk of a school being a public building, it behaves a lot more like a private building most the time. And I think most adults would be unhappy about CCTV everywhere at their place of work. That the RFID tag could be used as a metaphorical equivalent.... Of course, as you original state, the whole point really is to allow schools to game the budgeting system and actually tracking students would almost certain work against that gaming, so I can only really see it being used for tracking in isolated incidents by school administrators to bully students they don't like. But, then, they'd do that anyways without the RFID tags.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#42541877)

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 understand why these folks go "full retard." Honestly, it doesn't seem like you're trying to understand the situation or answer the question to which you relied. Having fun shooting fish in a barrel? "Oh look! Irrational folks acting Irrationally -- And I'm pointing it out!" How Interesting . Fuck you mods.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542049)

Fuck YOU, Too.

Trying to desensitize people much?

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year ago | (#42542201)

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 over what someone else does with the stuff they own, am I?

In any case, the point is if I don't want to, I don't need to be tracked, by anyone or anything. Students, however, don't get that right. They can't object, courtesy of this case. And if teenagers when they are most impressionable are being tracked, they get used to it and start to accept it as adults... which means very soon our sort-of democracy sees no problem forcing everyone to be tracked by the government. And that every right-minded individual should have a very big problem with.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year ago | (#42542287)

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 usually tied to where you live

And if RFID badge at work was used to track people I'd oppose that too.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#42541195)

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"

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#42541525)

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.

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about a year ago | (#42541603)

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 attendance. It is too easy to just trust the technology and turn off your brain. This can have harmful consequences.

After the first few weeks it takes most teachers all of 20 seconds to figure out who is and is not in class.

Failing that is swiping a card thru some sort of reader when you get to class really all that difficult? Why are radio tags necessary?

Re:Can someone remind me why this is sinister? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541711)

Exactly. Friend of human right, privacy and all good things.

However in this case the RFID tag should be treated like a key. Like at work. I refuse to have it, I can pack my stuff (ok, I work from home - but I have RFID at home too haha).....

What is wrong in giving the kids a tool, so they can register for class (they have to) and possibly regulate access with it (KEY), and yes, you can see where kids are going. It is not like it will follow you home and peak into your shower.

I would be more afraid of school wifi's radiation or one of the psychos walking in to start a shootout. And hey, by the way, did I mention access control?

Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42540797)

Finally some cents.

A texas representative (0, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#42540827)

with crazy religious beliefs is backing other people with crazy religious beliefs.

I'm shocked.

These idiots are strangling our nations future.

Re:A texas representative (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42540891)

These idiots are strangling our nations future.

If banning RFID badges in schools is strangling your future, perhaps you don't really have a future.

I guess this is the new way to pass anything they want now, just get a religious group against it and watch every support it no matter how bad/dumb of an idea it is.

Negative Ghostrider... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42540923)

... she's a conservative Texas politician who actually wants to do something to curb the out-of-control expansion of statist government bureaucrats.

We need more like her. It's time to start shrinking this "Feed me Seymour, Feed Me!" little shop of horrors that our government has become before it devours all of our rights and liberties.

Re:Negative Ghostrider... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541593)

No, we don't.

We can do it without giving somebody whose next vote would be for transvaginal ultrasounds and Jesus in the Classroom over Darwin.

Re:A texas representative (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541101)

Lisa: Dad, you can't judge a place you've never been to.
Bart: Yeah, that's what people do in Russia

Re:A texas representative (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541329)

with crazy religious beliefs is backing other people with crazy religious beliefs.

Even a broken clock is correct twice a day.

I'm as Atheist as they come, but I agree with her. RFID should be carried voluntarily or not at all.

Redundant Redundancy (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | about a year ago | (#42540841)

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?

The only way it will pass. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42540855)

It'll have to have a rider banning evolution and sex ed in schools.

lovely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42540971)

I love the blog comments:
http://beatthechip.blogspot.ca/2013/01/the-5-11-campaign-endorses-texas-bills.html

The first post is in favor of his campaign (johnfrombc compares RFID implantation to slavery) and the response is less than congenial. Either this guy is pro-slavery or he doesn't bother to read ...

I love how... (3, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year ago | (#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... (3, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | about a year ago | (#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... (5, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year ago | (#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?

Re:I love how... (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | about a year ago | (#42541453)

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.

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

Re:I love how... (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#42541597)

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.

Re:I love how... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541677)

Strawman. Requiring someone to carry stuff is not the same as mandatory implantation.

Re:I love how... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541905)

Yes, it is.
The result of not complying is the same in both cases.
The only difference is whether you keep your card on a lanyard, or under your skin.

Re:I love how... (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#42541749)

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 these three people who are affiliated with the communist party this afternoon

- Miss Parks talked alone for 40 min with the reporter that made that article saying bad things about our university.

Re:I love how... (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year ago | (#42541867)

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). It's trivial to imagine ways that this sort of RFID could be abused while a person is not in public and should have an expectation of privacy. Additionally, while a face is fairly difficult to duplicate, it's not that hard to clone an RFID tag, allowing someone else to spoof my identity if they so chose, thus opening me up to an additional form of identity theft that could hit a lot closer to home, depending on what that particular RFID tag is being used for. As a result, I may prefer to not use RFID while still being perfectly comfortable being filmed.

And while I may not have an expectation of privacy while in public, I am not legally obligated to broadcast personally identifiable information to anyone that can read it, which is what you seem to think is commonplace and acceptable. Unless a police officer stops me and asks me for my identity, I do not need to provide it to anyone, but modern RFID chips can and sometimes do contain not only a name, birthdate, and birthplace, but also a picture of the person and a whole lot more (e.g. U.S. passports).

Now, mind you, I'm not some anti-RFID crackpot, as you seem to think. I have an RFID fob on my keychain to get in the door at work, I have an RFID card in my car to get me through the front gate of a neighborhood I visit regularly, and I have one of the newer U.S. passports with RFID built in. I have no problems using any of those, nor can I recall ever having chosen to not provide my identity when a situation came up. Despite that, however, I still believe that it's important to stand up for the rights we have, even if we aren't actively exercising them, otherwise those rights will disappear and something that may be more important to us will be the next one getting eroded.

Re:I love how... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541277)

Not if the hackers have anything to do with it

Re:I love how... (1)

SourceFrog (627014) | about a year ago | (#42541385)

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:I love how... (1, Informative)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | about a year ago | (#42541425)

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?

Re:I love how... (2)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#42541607)

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.

Re:I love how... (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#42541615)

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.

Re:I love how... (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year ago | (#42541995)

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 sacrificed so readily.

This isn't a matter of getting with the times. These same issues existed in every "Papers, please" society and have been around for decades, if not centuries. The technology may have changed, but the problem hasn't changed, and our obligation is to defend our rights, even if we're not using them, so that they are still available to future generations. If anything, you're the one out of touch.

Re:I love how... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541617)

No, it's an erosion of privacy (whether that is a right or not is up to debate in school). School can and probably will monitor movement in school of people which can tell how many times a student went to the bathroom, who they often hang out with during lunch, and maybe other things creating a profiling of students.

RFID tags comes at an extra cost for no extra benefit. School already keep track of attendance easily and RFID would not save teacher time since they still have to take attendance (else people bring along their friends RFID tag). Then there is the hassle of forgetting it or losing it. Then what about issues about the RFID scanners itself which may not work correctly or require maintenance over the many years it will be in service. Then you add in the issues of dealing with an outside company for installation (finding/selecting a company that won't rape you in costs while not doing a shoddy job at it).

So tell me? Why use RFID in the first place if there contains no concrete benefit while at the same time has several reasons why not to use it. Technology is a tool, but it's not always the best tool for the job (see how laptop in lower education turned out so far).

Re:I love how... (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year ago | (#42541899)

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.

Re:I love how... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542133)

You do realize that Slashdot is composed of many people who disagree with each other, right?

A confession (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541095)

Ok, I am a geek, and I still have to admit having one big question about RFID:
1. Does RFID designate a *specific* wireless communication protocol (like Say WiFi 801.11n) with a specific frequency, power range, modulation and encoding technique, etc. or ...
2. Does it just mean close range wireless in general?

For example, Android phones that support "NFC" seem to support a specific NFC standard (listed in Wikipedia). Many Japanese Android phones in Japan do *not* support "NFC" (as in programs that support NFC won't install on them), but support Sony's Felica standard (called "Osaifu keitai" by Docomo), widely deployed in Japan and other places. I don't think the employee badge I use to get into my building at work is compatible with NFC smartphones or Felica technology, but I am certain that it's radio-wave based - so is that "NFC"?

The reason I ask is that I sometimes see NFC meaning a specific thing, and other times it seems to be a catch-all for any near range wireless. The term itself seems to be generic, rather than a trademark. This becomes important when you start making laws about it, because the schools could easily say "Ok, we'll use brand X local radio tags instead of NFC.", or even "ok, we'll use bar-coded tags or BlueTooth tags".

Whatever method they use, I personally don't have a problem with a school keeping track of attendance in an automated way - but they should have humans checking it too, since students can easily carry other students' ID cards.

Re:A confession (4, Insightful)

SourceFrog (627014) | about a year ago | (#42541411)

Whatever method they use, I personally don't have a problem with a school keeping track of attendance in an automated way

The problem with this statement is you're stating that you don't mind them doing it to the kids of other parents. You're "consenting" on their behalf for something done to them. That's about as meaningful as saying "I consent to slavery because I'm not black". It's one thing to consent to your own kids being tracked, but I think the school should at least have to get permission from every parent, and not track those who do not give permission. Actually, I'm not even sure that goes far enough; kids do have some rights that are outside the domain of parental consent.

Re:A confession (1)

DontScotty (978874) | about a year ago | (#42541921)

" but I think the school should at least have to get permission from every parent, and not track those who do not give permission."

That was exactly the reason this was tossed out.

They offered an accommodation, which she/her
family/All Mighty Zombie Jesus/etc DECLINED.

Any other student at the school would be allowed the
same offered accommodation.

Re:A confession (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year ago | (#42542349)

They offered an accommodation, which she/her family/All Mighty Zombie Jesus/etc DECLINED.

Part of the condition was her carrying the badge around anyway (no battery) and never talking about or objecting to the program.

That's hardly a very friendly concession -- they were willing to make an exception for her if she fully pretends to support the program and never voices any objections again. Why should she be required to pretend that this system is acceptable just so that an exception is made for her??

republicans love it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541243)

some corporate crony has to provide all those badges! woohoo another way to suck the tax payer dry!

Re:republicans love it (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#42541557)

some corporate crony has to provide all those badges! woohoo another way to suck the tax payer dry!

This representative is a Republican, but lets not let facts get in the way of ignorant demagoguery.

Goverment shouldnt b involved (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541459)

That's what private companies are for, if you want to track them just ask Apple or Google or Comscore or Omniture, kids/adults willingly carry around tracking devices with military based GPS hardware in exchange for shiny angrybirds/fart apps, no need for the gov to get involved, hell they know where every smart phone in the world is down to 15m and will tell you if you if you give them a dollar

My View (4, Insightful)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year ago | (#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!

Re:My View (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542163)

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!

You will be asked to defend your position, and when they cannot find that your religion is established it will be believed that you made up your religion to get around a rule, which is not acceptable.

So ... (1)

twistofsin (718250) | about a year ago | (#42541829)

How many of you folks that think this is a big deal have turned down a job because they had to wear a badge on company property?

Re:So ... (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year ago | (#42542019)

I have had a job where you had to have such a badge, but then when I left it at home occasionally and then eventually lost it I still didn't have any trouble getting in. Luckily, as an employee I have the option of quitting and going to another company that doesn't require me to wear a badge. I currently don't have to wear a badge where I work.

Re:So ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542137)

I have to wear a badge to my job and i'm glad because it's in a shit neighborhood and i'd rather flash an i.d. than get robbed during a piss break.

already dehumanizing enough (2)

bcrowell (177657) | about a year ago | (#42541831)

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]

burying the lead (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:burying the lead (1)

tyger_purr (1563735) | about a year ago | (#42542155)

They are typically used in high schools where it is rare that any two students have all the same classes at all the same times.

Let us kill two birds with one stone (1)

McDrewbie (530348) | about a year ago | (#42541907)

RFID all guns and/or bullets and let people have guns in school. Voila I am a genius

But what about the safety aspects? (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year ago | (#42542037)

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.

What have we become..... (4, Insightful)

Kr1ll1n (579971) | about a year ago | (#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".

RFID IS The Future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542241)

Our Federal Government has determined that the greatest threat of terrorism and to itself comes from U.S.A. citizens.

Therefore, RFID MUST be mandated in all sectors of the society.

High Schools, for instance, will be able to identify and track their very own student terrorists. The School's Principal will be able to identify and track Teachers who are Terrorists.

Employers at Shopping Centers, Hospitals, Insurance Agencies, Bookstores, Apparel, Consumer Electronics, Automobile Dealerships, Banks, Police Departments, Establishments of Religion will have the necessary and needed tool to identify the Terrorists Among Them.

Lastly we disparately need RFID on ALL Local, State and Federal Employees too, as they are a hot bed of Terrorists.

This is the cottage industry that will set the United States of America apart and above all the world.

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