Fresh from reports in the UK that several East Midlands schools have installed 4D facial recognition scanners in order to sign their pupils in and out of lessons, two school districts in Texas have gone one step further and integrated radio frequency identification devices into their pupils’ badges.
The devices, which are only slightly thicker than an ordinary plastic identity card have already been issued to 13,500 of the 36,000 pupils living in the Spring School District based around Santa Fe. Described as "fantastic" by education administators, the devices allow teachers to remotely track the movements of their pupils as they wander around the school campus.
Dotty Griffin of the American Civil Liberties Union, who have unsuccessfully fought to have the devices removed from schools in California, has been leading the charge against the microchips. Her arguments against the use of this type of technology in schools are identical to those levelled against 4D facial recognition scanners:
"There's real questions about the security risks involved with these gadgets. Readers can skim information. To the best of my knowledge, these things are not foolproof. We constantly see cases where people are skimming, hacking and stealing identities from sophisticated systems”.
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Big Brother Watch has yet to receive reports of such devices being installed in British schools but would greatly appreciate being notified if this technology makes its way over the pond…