Canada Dashboard Digest

Tracking Preschoolers With Location-Based Microchips

CHILDREN’S PRIVACY

September 17, 2010

RFIDWorld Canada reports on one U.S. school using a $50,000 government grant toward establishing RFID technology to track preschool students, which a San Francisco Chronicle editorial says has created "very real privacy and safety concerns." One county's Head Start program is complying with federal requirements that it take attendance every hour using the Child Location, Observation and Utilization Data System (CLOUDS), which outfits the children in jerseys embedded with electronic locator chips. But school officials aren't the only ones capable of picking up the chips' signals; research has shown that informed criminals, for example, can trace the signals, too. "This isn't the right solution," the report states. "The privacy and safety of these very young children must outweigh the inconvenience of their teachers."
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