Assembly panel backs moratorium on using ID chips for schoolkids

Assembly panel backs moratorium on using ID chips for schoolkids

2006 06 22 04:00:00 PDT Sacramento Citing privacy fears, a Bay Area state legislator is trying to ban the use of tiny chips embedded on identification badges as a way to keep track of schoolchildren until better ways are found to keep information on the chips secure.

The bill, approved Wednesday by the Assembly Education Committee, stems in part from a controversy at a school in Sutter County that angered some parents last year by being the first school in the country to experiment with the use of what’s known as radio frequency identification devices to speed attendance taking.

Testing of the monitoring devices on the school’s seventh and eighth grade students generated national attention as well as Internet and classroom debate over whether it improved campus security at the expense of a student’s privacy. The school board ultimately stopped the experiment following complaints.

More than a dozen parents, some from in Sutter, where the experiment took place, fake id attended Wednesday’s hearing. Most spoke in favor of the technology, saying that keeping track of their children meant they were safer.

«It’s the educational equivalent of an ankle bracelet,» countered Sen.

The radio frequency devices are tiny chips with an antenna attached. When the chip passes a special reader, it transmits the information on it. The technology is commonly used by businesses to keep track of inventories, but it could be used on government identification cards, such as driver’s licenses.

Simitian has another bill that would impose a three year moratorium on using the chips on driver’s licenses. He sought to highlight the technology’s flaws by telling the committee that his Senate issued access card to the Capitol was scanned and cloned in less than a second by a 23 year old electronics designer working with the lawmaker, best fake id sites who then used the fake card to enter the Capitol through a secure door reserved only for lawmakers.

«We went into the members only entrance to the Capitol, where we have California Highway Patrol officers and drug sniffing dogs and mirrors under our cars,» Simitian told the committee. «That’s the level of control for the building. What do you think we’re going to see in a small school district?»

, representing the , said better security measures were being developed and a blanket ban on use of he chips was unwarranted.

Her association supports a bill that would allow the chips to be used while the , fake id maker online a state agency, studies how to make the chips more secure.

, a Davis lawyer representing InCom, the company that developed the attendance taking system and tested it at Brittan Elementary School, told the committee the technology was «astonishingly private.»

Use of it could help identify potential dropouts by showing their excessive absences, Boylan said.

Boylan noted that at Brittan Elementary School the chips used «unique identifiers a series of numbers representing each pupil so that if someone tried to scan the chip with other than the correct reader all that would be revealed would be a «jumble of numbers.»

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