We Don't Need No Stinking Badges

The students are required to where these badges, the location of which can be determined 24 hours a day by those who are in proximity and receive the signal from the active RFID tag with the correct reader. Apparently the school reluctantly agreed to remove the tag and battery, but insited the ID would still have to be worn. 

The offer would also require the Hernandez family to end their public criticism and agree to support the policy, something Andrea’s father Steve Hernandez finds unacceptable.

ZDNet Article:

The company that provides the technology:

The school district's info page:

(This post has been edited for clarity, with more details and some additional links).

#rfid #privacy

Student Andrea Hernandez Expelled for Refusing to Wear Location Tracking RFID Badge
Andrea Hernandez is being expelled from John Jay High School in San Antonio, Texas on November 26th, for refusing to wear a RFID tracking ID badge, according to a letter sent by the school district t…

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12 thoughts on “We Don't Need No Stinking Badges

  1. Unfortunately Wired goes for the inaccurate, but catchy, headline also. *sigh* While RFID was originally the contested issue, she was suspended only after she was [twice] offered one without RFID chip.

    I still have yet to see any conditions from the school district backing up the claim that they are somehow required to "stop criticism" and "endorse" the program. As far as I can tell, they were satisfied with having her carry an ID card.

    If they want to make noise about RFID tracking of children that's fine. But don't violate other, pretty standard rules then claim you're being punished because of your RFID opposition.

  2. "End their public criticism" and "agree to support the policy" is not listed in the conditions outlined by the letter from the district. The written paperwork that I have read shows no such conditions. As far as I can tell, only the family makes this claim.

  3. A friend of mine was working on these short-distance active RFIDs for medical equipment in hospitals.  It allowed the hospital to know where equipment was at any time, enhanced tracking of device sterilization, and also alerted staff to device theft.

  4. I've updated to the post to reflect that these are active RFID tags, and to provide a link to the school district, the contractor and another bit of more mainstream tech coverage from ZDNet.

    The reasoning behind the system's implementation seems to be to show that students (or at least their badges) are on school property, if not in the classroom, enabling the school district to show a higher inventory of students, and thus receive more funding.

  5. "these location tracking RFID badges, which track the location of the badge 24 hours a day"

    RFID chips have no idea where they are. Silly you. There has to be a scanner which actively looks for it. No one is requiring the student carry the card when not at school, either.

  6. In a perfect world, all RFIDs would be cryptographically secure challenge-response, but I indeed I suspect these are probably just a serial #.  That doesn't tell you who belongs to the ID by itself, but I suppose you could visually identify the holder and link to serial #.

  7. It should be noted that these IDs can only track students within the walls of the buildings on campus, or on special-needs buses.  These are not GPS-enabled tracking systems, or capable of long distance RF communication.

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