Friday, February 11, 2005

Mark of the beast 


SUTTER, Calif. - The only grade school in this rural town is requiring students to wear radio frequency identification badges that can track their every move.

The badges introduced at Brittan Elementary School on Jan. 18 rely on the same radio frequency and scanner technology that companies use to track livestock and product inventory.

Each student is required to wear identification cards around their necks with their picture, name and grade and a wireless transmitter that beams their ID number to a teacher’s handheld computer when the child passes under an antenna posted above a classroom door.

This latest adaptation of radio frequency ID technology was developed by InCom Corp., a local company co-founded by the parent of a former Brittan student, and some parents are suspicious about the financial relationship between the school and the company. InCom plans to promote the technology at a national convention of school administrators next month.

InCom has paid the school several thousand dollars for agreeing to the experiment, and has promised a royalty from each sale if the system takes off, said the company’s co-founder, Michael Dobson, who works as a technology specialist in the town’s high school. Brittan’s technology aide also works part-time for InCom.
(via MSNBC)

I'd say there are at least two teachable moments here, wouldn't you?

1. It's OK to treat kids like livestock or cattle

2. It's OK to use kids, and the public schools, as part of your company's marketing plan—especially when you work for the schools too!

Really, what's not to like?

All I want to know is: Why don't we miniaturize these badges and inject them under the skin? Much more hygeinic, and permament, too!

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