Update-Tracking devices used in school badges
Two districts are first in the area to use ID tags that raise privacy, security concerns
By JENNIFER RADCLIFFE
Oct. 11, 2010
Radio frequency identification — the same technology used to monitor cattle — is tracking students in the Spring and Santa Fe school districts.
Identification badges for some students in both school districts now include tracking devices that allow campus administrators to keep tabs on students’ whereabouts on campus. School leaders say the devices improve security and increase attendance rates.
“It’s a wonderful asset,” said Veronica Vijil, principal of Bailey Middle School in Spring, one of the campuses that introduced the high-tech badges this fall.
But some parents and privacy advocates question whether the technology could have unintended consequences. The tags remind them of George Orwell’s Big Brother, and they worry that hackers could figure a way to track students after they leave school.
Identity theft and stalking could become serious concerns, some said.