Tuesday, June 17, 2008
GIVING A NEW SPIN TO THE WORD "CHIPPIE"
A reader sent in a link to this story:
A Rhode Island school district has announced a pilot program to monitor student movements by means of radio frequency identification (RFID) chips implanted in their schoolbags.
The Middletown School District, in partnership with MAP Information Technology Corp., has launched a pilot program to implant RFID chips into the schoolbags of 80 children at the Aquidneck School. Each chip would be programmed with a student identification number, and would be read by an external device installed in one of two school buses. The buses would also be fitted with global positioning system (GPS) devices.
Parents or school officials could log onto a school web site to see whether and when specific children had entered or exited which bus, and to look up the bus's current location as provided by the GPS device.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has criticized the plan as an invasion of children's privacy and a potential risk to their safety.
Never did I think I would say the words, "I agree with the ACLU!"
An ACLLU spokesman suggested "[This program is] a solution in search of a problem". Sure looks that way to me. As the article states, the school is already supposed to know where the kids are.
Most significant line in the article...
Because the pilot program is being provided to the school district at no cost, it did not require approval from the Rhode Island ethics commission.
Now the very concept of ethics has been tied to cash. Talk about an upsidedown universe!