WOULD YOU BUY A USED RFID TAG FROM THIS MAN?
A few years ago I got involved in an effort to defeat legislation that threatened to outlaw the use of RFID technology in California. RFID is an acronym that stands for “radio frequency identification.” If you have an identification card that you wave in front of a reader to get into a secured building, a hotel room or even a car park, then you’ve used RFID technology and know how harmless it is and how useful it is in our everyday lives. Hospitals use RFID tags in patient wrist bands to make sure they don’t accidentally lose track of a patient and perform surgery on the wrong person. Amusement parks use RFID tags in wrist bands for children to help reunite them with their families if they get lost.
School districts all over the world are now using them to take attendance fast and absolutely accurately. Here is how it works: each student ID has an RFID tag in them with a unique alphanumeric code. When they walk into a classroom, a reader at the top of the doorway reads the unique number and the school’s computers do the rest. It’s fast, it’s easy, it’s inexpensive, it’s safe - and, in many school districts in the United States, it saves enormous amounts of time and money that can be better spent educating kids.
I learned what I know about RFID almost a decade ago when I was hired by a small high tech company called InCom that was marketing an RFID attendance system to schools. They hired me to help stop legislation that would have made RFID use illegal in California by imposing unnecessary but crushing regulations that would have rendered RFID use too difficult and expensive to use, thereby effectively banning it. The bills were vetoed by then Governor Schwarzenegger and the effort to ban RFID technology died with the veto.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am not just a hired gun. I cannot represent a client or advocate a position unless I believe in it. Even though I am no longer advocating on behalf of RFID manufacturers, my experience gave me a strong appreciation for RFID technology and I continue to speak out on its behalf whenever the issue of its use arises.
Well, it’s happened again. A school district in Texas has decided to adopt an RFID attendance program and some parents don’t like it.
The following link takes you to a HuffPost live video discussion that lets you see for yourself what is at the heart of many complaints about RFID use, if not what is at the heart of the problems of public education in the United States. Let me know what you think: