Read the Case: RFID—Future Tracking the Supply Chain below and answer the question. Please respond and provide with two paragraphs. Question: Do you agree or disagree that tagging students with RFID tags is a violation of privacy rights? Explain why. Chapter Ten Case: RFID—Future Tracking the Supply Chain One of the hottest new technologies in the supply chain is a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag. These tags are tiny and can carry large amounts of data tracking everything from price to temperature. Supply chains around the globe are being revamped with RFID tags. However, some people might be taking the ability to track the supply chain with RFID tags a bit too far. Tracking People The elementary school that required students to wear RFID tags to track their movements ended the program because the company that developed the technology pulled out. “I’m dis-appointed; that’s about all I can say at this point,” stated Ernie Graham, the superintendent and principal of Brittan Elementary School. “I think I let my staff down.” Students were required to wear identification cards around their necks with their picture, name, and grade and a wireless transmitter that beamed ID numbers to a teacher’s handheld computer when the children passed under an antenna posted above a classroom door. The school instituted the system, without parental input, to simplify attendance-taking and potentially reduce vandalism and improve student safety. “I’m happy for now that kids are not being tagged, but I’m still fighting to keep it out of our school system,” said parent Dawn Cantrall, who filed a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union. “It has to stop here.” While many parents criticized the tags for violating privacy and possibly endangering children’s health, some parents supported the plan. “Technology scares some people; it’s a fear of the unknown,” parent Mary Brower said. “Any kind of new technology has the potential for misuse, but I feel confident the school is not going to misuse it.” Tracking Children Children’s sleepwear with radio frequency identification tags sewn into the seams hit stores in early 2006. Made by Lauren Scott California, the nightgowns and pajamas will be one of the first commercial RFID-tagged clothing lines sold in the United States. The PJs are designed to keep kids safe from abductions, says proprietor Lauren Scott, who licensed the RFID technology from SmartWear Technologies Inc., a maker of personal security systems. Readers positioned in doorways and windows throughout a house scan tags within a 30-foot radius and trigger an alarm when boundaries are breached. A pamphlet attached to the garment informs customers that the sleepwear is designed to help prevent child abductions. It directs parents to a website that explains how to activate and encode the RFID tag with a unique digital identification number. The site also provides information on a $500 home-installed system that consists of RFID readers and a low-frequency encoder that connects through a USB port to a computer. Parents can sign up to include data about their children, including photos, in the SmartWear database. That information can be shared with law enforcement agencies or the Amber Alert system if a child disappears. SmartWear has several other projects in the works including an extended-range RFID tag that can transmit signals up to 600 feet. The tag could be inserted into law enforcement and military uniforms or outerwear, such as ski jackets, and used to find a missing or lost person or to recover and identify a body. Plastic RFID Atypical RFID tag costs 40 cents, making price a barrier for many potential applications. Start-up OrganicID is creating a plastic RFID tag that it expects will reduce the price to a penny or less.
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