Category Archives: Discrimination

Transparent RFID policy and consent

In January 2011 the EU document ‘Privacy and Data Protection Impact Assessment Framework for RFID Applications’ was published. The document is an industry-prepared framework for Personal Data and Privacy Impact Assessments of RFID Applications and endorsed by the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party.

RFID Privacy targets include “Compliance with the data subject’s right to object –  It must be ensured that the data subject’s data is no longer processed if he or she objects.” along with one of the concerns of the privacy risks being Invalidation of explicit consentConsent has been obtained under threat of disadvantage.” – see pages 13 and 15.   However, this EU document is only advisory and simply details good practice with no set enforcable regulated code of practice yet in place for RFID tracking people.

In a recent article it came to light that in the UK a 14-19 college, West Cheshire College, are using RFID tags for registration purposes but then oddly state the information the RFID give them will be anonymised.  Quite how they plan to register individual students with anonymised RFID tags is baffling but, more worryingly, the college seems to have adopted a ‘must wear’ attitude.

In order for students to be able to object, as detailed the above EU document, to this level of surveillance, where staff at educational establishments such as West Cheshire College are able to  “look at them in groups, such as peer groups.”, both students and staff tagged need to be fully informed of exactly what the RFID chips they carry are being used for. i.e. how and where people would be tracked and the personal information held.

rfidcctvsignThis communication of the college’s intent of RFID use to register its students and staff, and subsequent consent, presumably would need a little more than a verbal statement.  Indeed, a document detailing the college’s RFID policy and a Privacy Impact Assessment would surely be considered good practice.

Maybe an adoption of the CCTV industry’s code to inform persons of CCTV tracking by signage on walls in areas where surveillance is occurring should be considered where RFID real-time location systems are in operation?

This would go some way to ensure transparency for those choosing to carry RFID tags.

Texas School District want case to be heard in federal court

Northside Independent School District want Andrea Hernandez’s case moved to a federal court “In a move aimed at sidestepping a potentially unfavorable state court hearing” states the Rutherford Institute

MySanantonio.com goes on to say “A hearing scheduled in state district court Wednesday on her request for a  temporary injunction to keep her at her magnet school at Jay  High School was canceled after the district asked that the case be moved to  federal court.

Since the student, Andrea  Hernandez, has said wearing the badge violates her religious beliefs,  Northside’s attorneys are arguing it’s a federal constitutional issue.

Neither a judge nor a date for a federal hearing has been set.”

Judge rules against school on RFID tracking case

Student Wins Tracking ID Case reports Frontpagemag.com

Sanity, thankfully, has prevailed in the case of Andrea Hernandez who has been incredibly brave standing up to the school’s absolute instance that she wears RFID chip or pretends to and that she stops protesting or she gets expelled. This plucky teenager said no!

This from the Rutherford Institute who took Andrea Hernandez’s case to court:  “A court has temporarily blocked The Northside Independent School District from suspending high school sophomore, Andrea Hernandez, for her noncompliance with a neck badge that monitors student movement throughout the campus via a Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) chip.

A federal court judge ruled that John Jay High School principal Robert Harris’s actions were a violation of Hernandez’s rights to freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion. Hernandez will also receive compensation, the amount of which will be determined during a trial, according to court documents.”

After enduring threats from the school district:
 “As we discussed, there will be consequences for refusal to wear an ID card as we begin to move forward with full implementation.”  Andrea and her family have done really well in this instance, with privacy groups and alternative media highlighting her situation and  drawing attention to this heavyhanded approach from the school and school district.

A surprising aspect of this case was that the school and the school district were so unwavering in their insistence that Andrea wore RFID.  Insistence which seemingly will involve the school paying compensation to Andrea for their discrimination and disregard for civil liberties.

The question has to be asked, just what was the school and school district trying to achieve here because this dogged insistence did not seem solely about attendance figures and financial gain.  Was the school that desperate to throw away civil liberties for cash?  Just what, exactly, are we teaching our kids?

Andrea is a shining example of a human spirit standing up for what she believes is right and this has been a very valuable lesson for all students.  Children have most probably learnt more from this brave individual than any teacher could have taught them in school about civil liberties.

Judge blocks schools move to expel non RFID student

A judge has postponed the suspension of 16 year old high school student, Andrea Hernandez, for refusing to wear RFID chip…

This in from Wired Magazine
2:30 p.m. PST UPDATE
: A local Texas judge
on Wednesday tentatively blocked the suspension, pending further hearings next week
.

From the Rutherford Institute:
“The Rutherford Institute’s request for a temporary restraining order to prevent Northside Independent School District from removing a San Antonio high school student from John Jay High School’s Science and Engineering Academy because she objected to wearing a name badge signifying participation in the school district’s new “Student Locator Project.” The badges include tiny Radio Frequency Identification (“RFID”) chips that produce a radio signal, enabling school officials to track students’ precise location on school property”

Student suspended for not wearing RFID

Well it has happened – pure discrimination against a human not choosing not to be tagged with RFID, in this – possibly first case of RFID discrimination – a child.  USA you should be proud to have reached the heady heights of the big brother state that your rivals China, North Korea, Russia have not even achieved.

School student Andrea Hernandez, 16 years old, is suspended for refusing to wear an RFID lanyard.  The Northside School District has not wavered at all in this and now Andrea is taking legal action against the school.

Is this what children can look forward to in a “democracy”?  No religious right of expression if it doesn’t suit the establishment?  Even on privacy grounds, or for any reason, children and parents should be able to refuse carrying RFID.  It is a gross invasion of privacy and apart from that invasion the technology has not yet proved it is safe for health reasons.

Hernandez was told she would be expelled and transferred to another high school in the district that had not yet adopted the tags, if she refused to comply.

The teen is now taking the school to court in a bid to overturn the decision.

Hernandez is backed by civil liberties organisation The Rutherford Institute, which has accused district authorities of implementing the program purely as a money-making scheme.

“There is something fundamentally disturbing about this school district’s insistence on steamrolling students into complying with programs that have nothing whatsoever to do with academic priorities and everything to do with fattening school coffers,” Institute president John Whitehead said.”

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/student-takes-school-to-court-after-being-suspended-for-refusing-to-wear-tracking-device/story-fnet08ui-1226522006688#ixzz2Cwk7kElA

Rutherford Institute – https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/on_the_front_lines/texas_school_kicks_student_out_of_magnet_program_for_refusing_to_wear_smart

Infowars – http://www.infowars.com/preliminary-injunction-sought-in-school-rfid-tracking-badge-case/

ZDNet – http://www.zdnet.com/student-expelled-for-refusing-to-wear-rfid-tracking-chip-badge-7000007723/

Russia Today – http://rt.com/usa/news/rfid-badge-texas-hernandez-269/