Author Topic: Is UK college's RFID chip tracking of pupils an invasion of privacy?  (Read 361 times)

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Offline EC

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Via the Guardian:

When is a biometric not a biometric? When it's an ultra-wideband RFID (radio frequency ID) tag which provides such detailed and continuous information about your movements that it makes logging your movements by fingerprints or card check-ins redundant – because it knows where you are to within centimetres.

It might sound useful or intrusive – or both, depending on your point of view. And one of its biggest users in the UK (outside of factories that want to trace where potentially dangerous machines are being used) has been a vocational college in West Cheshire that offers training and apprenticeships for 14 to 17-year-olds in fields such as hairdressing, forensics, and accounting.

In a trial of up to three years, ending in February 2013, pupils at West Cheshire College wore tags that allowed them to be tracked in detail throughout the college's three campuses. The tags used a new type of ultra-wideband active RFID (Radio Frequency ID) that provides a far more detailed picture of student and staff movements than anything available before.

When first asked about the trial in October, the college's PR spokesperson, Louise Lewis, would say only: "An RFID trial was conducted by the build contractors BAM and their subcontractors, however the technology was only accepted by the college for the purpose of physical asset tracking."

More recently, the college has expanded on this, saying: "The technology was introduced with the aim of assessing how it could be used for self-marking class attendance registers, safeguarding purposes, and to improve the physical management of the buildings."

Lewis says the trial began in May 2012, when the building work was completed, and was discontinued in February 2013, when a review showed that "the technology did not enhance current systems or business operations" and the college became concerned about rising costs to maintain the system in the future.

More at link.

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Offline Oceander

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Re: Is UK college's RFID chip tracking of pupils an invasion of privacy?
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2013, 09:53:58 PM »
It would be very useful for parents of small children in playgrounds.
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