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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Tracking devices — now for your kids!

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An electronic system to track students going to and from schools in Qatar was presented to education administrators yesterday, the Gulf Times reports.

The locally-developed system, which uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips, has already been trialled at schools. It’s being touted as a safety measure for younger students — but quite clearly has greater privacy implications.

Reports the Gulf Times:

Details of the system, developed by Qatari IT firm Mohajl, were presented to an audience of school administrators and public officials at the Ritz Carlton Hotel yesterday.

They were told that the service will be available to schools that pay a lump sum amounting to no more than QR50 per student per month with no additional investment required. 

Students will either wear a plastic bracelet, or carry on their person an item containing an active RFID chip that will allow the monitoring system to track their location while on campus, and log their presence when on school buses or possibly in private cars.

A majority of parents surveyed apparently showed an interest in the technology, and were willing to shell out the cash themselves. The project has the backing of the Supreme Education Council in Qatar, and the company says the chips can even be used as “e-wallets” to assist (or control) cafeteria food purchases and library check-outs.

So… who thinks this is a good idea? 

Photo by Flickr user MissionControl, and published under Creative Commons

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