No Kidnappings Lately? See How Great it Works!
Interesting New York Times piece (reg. req.) about some of the early adopters in RFID tags to tracks kids in school, focusing on Texas' Spring Independent School District, north of Houston. It's kidnapping–which, the article points out, has never occurred in this district–that's being sold as the main benefit, as this article tells it.
The system is far from foolproof–it scans kids as they get on and off school buses, but one day the reporter observed, "When the bus arrived at school, the system had not worked. On the Web site that includes the log of student movements, there was no record that any of the students on the bus had arrived." The article also writes of a school in Buffalo that checks RFID-equipped badges as kids walk into the school.
As long as the chips are in badges, well, kids sure do lose things a lot, don't they–and are often mischievous scamps as well, who might decide to game the system by trading badges. How to handle this dilemma?
Advocates of the technology…do see broader possibilities, such as implanting RFID tags under the skin of children to avoid problems with lost or forgotten tags. More immediately, they said, they could see using the technology to track whether students attend individual classes.