One of the United States' most affluent cities is debating whether or not, and how, to track its students with RFID tags
. School officials in New Canaan, Connecticut have engaged in talks with SecureRF Corporation, which has applied for a $100,000 federal research grant and is hoping to find test partners. Among the potential applications for the radio-frequency identification devices (like those used in mobile payment systems) bandied about were tracking students for the purpose of emergency evacuations, streamlining the bus system and monitoring who's cutting class. At least one board member, it seems, has some sense, though. "I can perceive parents would have an issue with tracking kids through the school and through town
," Jim Kucharczyk told the New Canaan Advertiser. "There's a big difference between putting this on the school bus [and] putting it on backpacks or an ID card."
Fortunately for the students of New Canaan High School, Superintendent Dr. David Abbey has made clear that participation in the experiment would not be mandatory, and that it would require both student and parental permission. Of course, this raises the question: what kind of kid would jump at the opportunity to be tracked? We have a sneaking suspicion that the RFID data would skew towards the library, computer lab and the student crossing guard.