It had to happen….chipping kids!

So we waited around and sure enough someone came up with the idea and even worse someone else agreed http://www.firstscience.com/home/articles/technology/skin-deep-storage_1516.htmlthat it was a good notion and found the money to back it. Yip….. they have chipped children. Now… not the children themselves – yet – but their clothes. This tale of woe carried by the BBC is worrying:- BBC NEWS | Education | Concern at pupil data microchips

Basically someone has stitched a microchip into some kids clothes so that teacher can pick up academic information about the kids as they enter a room. It says:-

A secondary school in Doncaster has been trying out a scheme where pupils’ records are stored on a microchip embedded in their school uniform.The device enables teachers to call up information about pupils, such as their attainment, as they enter a classroom.

And:-

The scheme sees a child’s academic records stored on radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips woven into the badges on children’s school jumpers.

The chips send out a radio signal which enables their movements to be monitored as they pass scanners.

Now the headteacher says in a letter to parents that:-

the micro-chip enabled students to be automatically registered as they entered the classroom.

Teachers with a handheld computer could access information about such things as their national curriculum levels, target grades and curriculum.

He stressed: “it is not a tracking device and cannot be used outside the school classroom”.

The Department for Children, School and Families seem very much in favour of electronic tracking and don’t seem fazed by the worries of ordinary folk about data protection – even after the missing 25 million child benefit records scandal – they say:-

“When we talk about electronic registration we mean teachers using networked computers to log attendance on a schools database this helps with safety, security and reducing truancy.

“This does not mean schools logging every detail of every pupil via covert means.”

But the department said it was confident it had “very robust procedures” to protect personal data held within the department.

There is also concern about a new government database called ContactPoint, which will contain children’s names and addresses and whether they are in contact with any social services.

Now.. let’s step to it here. This is a really bad idea, isn’t it? Just down the line we’ll have radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip-readers at the entrance to every store in town reading the data from our kids blazers and figuring out what special messages to flash on the store video message boards to help sales along:-

“Hi, Martina. Happy 10th birthday to-day. Sorry to hear about your poor maths score to-day. You’ll do better to-morrow if you get this new calculator – we’re reduced it to only £10.99 for you. And you’ll be really interested in this book/magazine/video game, new sweet, etc that will help you take your mind of your academic performance.”

Of course, the stuff will be aimed right at the kids perceived reading age – taken from the chip – and backed by stacks of marketing data that say 10 year old girls with reading ages of 9.4 really like looking at teen magazines. Of course the whole thing will be combined with a piece of video scanning software that analyses the child’s clothes and allows the store to flash up images of the kid wearing the latest in-store fashion item. Kid’s picture with new look clothes is flashed wherever the kid happens to pass in the store…. you know what I mean. How could anyone resist a double wammy like that!?

Now… I could be way wrong here…. the data won’t go missing, won’t be misused, stores won’t put RFID readers at the doors and steal the information, paeodifiles won’t buy scanners and trawl the town for child victims using the chip data as a starting point in grooming…..

And pigs might fly.

This…. is a BAD idea.

What do you think?

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One Response to It had to happen….chipping kids!

  1. Bishop says:

    Down with this sort of thing.

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