School Register Systems Around The World Are Becoming More Hi-Tech – Are They Intrusive?
The aim of a school register system is to log student attendance for AM/PM and class attendance, this data also enable schools to evaluate and monitor absenteeism and punctuality – its sometimes hard to see the wood from the trees when offered such as system with the latest technology attached. This can cause problems if rushed into without due care and consideration.
By Will Oremus
Posted Wednesday, July 17, 2013, at 1:01 PMA Texas school district drew national attention, a lawsuit, and even cyber-attacks by Anonymous hackers with a pilot program requiring students to wear RFID tracking chips around campus. Now, after winning the lawsuit, surviving the denial-of-service attacks, and weathering the backlash, it has decided to drop the chips after all. But that doesn’t mean the privacy advocates have won.
Northside Independent School District spokesman Pascual Gonzalez told me that the microchip-ID program turned out not to be worth the trouble. Its main goal was to increase attendance by allowing staff to locate students who were on campus but didn’t show up for registration. That was supposed to lead to increased revenue. But student attendance at the two schools in question—a middle school and a high school—barely budged in the year that the policy was in place. And school staff found themselves wasting a lot of time trying to physically track down the missing students based on their RFID locators.
Andrea Hernandez, the student whose family unsuccessfully sued the district on religious grounds and referred to the IDs as “the mark of the beast,” is reportedly thrilled by the decision. She had ended up transferring to another school to avoid the IDs.
But the backlash and the lawsuit weren’t the deciding factors, Gonzalez told me. “While [privacy groups] are extolling the fact that they won, the fact is that that was a very minor part of our conversation, because the federal court and the court of appeals both upheld Northside’s position on that. We were on solid ground.”
Indeed, the district never acknowledged that the chips posed legitimate privacy concerns, adhering all along to the reasoning that Gonzalez expressed to me when I first talked to him about this last fall: “By virtue of the fact that you are a student at school, there is no privacy.” No doubt other schools will echo that line when they adopt RFID or similar technologies in the years to come, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a high court rule on a similar case at some point in the future. Gonzalez is right that students on a campus have less expectation of privacy than adults, but “no privacy” seems a little extreme. The question of how much offline tracking is too much is also likely to arise in workplaces as employers use RFID tags to bust workers for, say, spending too much time in the bathroom.
Originally from : http://www.slate.com/
Summary: Regular school register systems are unobtrusive and do not infringe a students right to privacy. All schools need to monitor student attendance, punctuality and absence. After all they are responsible for ensuring that students receive and take advantage the opportunity of an education, which after all is also the students right!