Friday, September 17, 2010

Gov't Radio Chips In Toddlers?

I wish I was joking about this one.  From the good folks over at the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

San Francisco - The ACLU of Northern California (ACLU-NC) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) are calling for answers to critical privacy and safety questions that loom over a controversial federal program to track preschoolers with radio frequency identification (RFID) chips at George Miller III Head Start program in Richmond, California.

In an open letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Contra Costa County Employment and Human Services Department, ACLU-NC and EFF are asking officials to disclose what technical and security measures are used by the system to safeguard the privacy and safety of preschoolers, as well as what data is collected, how long it is retained, and who has access to the information. The letter also calls on officials to publicly address why and how the government decided to track Head Start students, and if the government plans to expand such tracking.

"This program allows for far more invasive surveillance than is required for attendance and other record-keeping for a Head Start program," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Lee Tien. "We want to know how and when privacy and security issues were considered in the development of this program, and how many other schools will be pressured to implement this system."
BBB's suggested remedies: 1] End the federal government's unconstitutional involvement in education.  (Seriously, show me "education" in the federal government's enumerated powers listed in the Constitution.)  2] End state governments' virtual monopoly on primary education.  If there were more private, religious, and home schooling options readily available to parents, I guarantee you that most parents wouldn't choose to send their kids to a public school where their kids are radio-tagged like migrating caribou.  To learn more about school choice visit Alliance For School Choice.


Bawb said...

Chipping kids, chipping away at freedom, it's all the same. Big Brother (no, not me) is watching.

strandediniowa said...

Because of this line: "The RFID program was launched this school year at the school with funds from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).", could it not be said that federal funding is used to track pre-schoolers?

It looks the the ACLU are not trying to block the action but just want it to be "secure". Anyone in IT knows that the only 100% secure system is having no system.

I predicted that newborns will be required to have RFID chips someday. This is one more step in that direction.

Ben said...

Right stranded.