(* Nov 2019 – Klassroom squired Newschool in September 2019 https://medium.com/@klassroom/klassroom-annonce-lacquisition-de-newschool-philippine-dolbeau-rejoint-l-équipe-en-tant-que-coo-3c05ff976)
According to this article a school in France are requiring children to wear radio frequency Bluetooth tracking devices. Well, the school would like the children to wear the Bluetooth devices supplied by the start up company NewSchool – if they don’t wear the device, or if they loose it, the kids have to pay a fine of 10 Euros (£9 or $12). Not really much choice there then.
The school using the radio frequency tracking device is the Lycée Rocroy Saint-Vincent de Paul, a private Catholic high school in Paris.
According to the BBC ‘French school in row over tracking pupils electronically‘ more than 3200 people have signed a petition against the school RFID tagging their pupils, with one pupil’s plea over twitter.
Not only will the school be able to track the kids every move, soon parents (and puzzlingly students themselves) will be able to too!
“Our NewSchool Teachers app is available for teachers only. Soon, we will release an application for students and parents of students. Patience so 😉”.
There is also a “Good Points” Reward package that comes with the NewSchool app, presumably for students that are compliantly tracked.
Philippine Dolbeau is the 18 year old founder of NewSchool, and happened to be a pupil of the Lycée Rocroy Saint-Vincent de Paul private school where this RFID tacking system is being enforced September 2018. This is how her website describes her:
“Philippine is an 18-year-old entrepreneur, founder of New School, and “Most Innovative Woman of 2017”. She is recognized by much French national media as being the youngest entrepreneur of France. Philippine created her startup at the age of 15, while still studying at the lycée. While asked to create a pretend startup, the young teenager decided to go beyond the limits given and decided to make of NewSchool a real-life business in September 2014.”
One thing Philippine has failed to learn is the complete inappropriateness of
a) tracking each student with a Bluetooth device
b) fine them for not wearing the device
c) consent issues (duh) and
d) health issues increasingly being aired with regards to wireless technology and it exposure, especially at close hand. (Wonder what her public liability insurance is like?).
She might have been the “Most Innovative Woman of the 2017” but for this??? Mmm…
Bluetooth transmits at 2.4GHz either at a range of 10, 100 or 1000 (1km) meters. Given that this school wants to track students within the school, gym class, drills and field trips presumably the 10 meter device isn’t going to hack it. More on Bluetooth data from the NordicSemi blog:
Undoubtedly more to come on this…
Image of the Bluetooth tracking device from https://www.laquadrature.net/fr/new_school