Just outside San Antonio, John Jay High School requires all of its students to wear RFID-enabled student badges to track their movements in and out of the school as well as into classrooms. In November, student Andrea Gonzalez was granted an in junction against her school district to not have to wear this tag on the defense that it violated her religious freedoms. Today, a US District Court judge denied her claim, freeing school districts anywhere from any potential passionate offense against tracking all students in a public school. But isn’t this future?
Given the opportunity, I would’ve fought for my right to not carry a big RFID tag on me at all times on some privacy defense. Gonzalez and her family contends that the RFID badges represented the Biblical Mark of the Beast to indicate that they’re followers of Satan during the End Times, which are, based on who you ask, perpetually now. It’s a notion I’m familiar with, but one hard to justify considering how open to interpretation such a mark or pendant or seal is. District Court Judge Orlando Garcia agreed.
In a legal sense, this doesn’t really justify the district’s usage of RFID tags to track students, but rather knocks down the religious offense against one. John Jay implements the tag for several reasons, most notably for attendance purposes. It also diminishes the rush to have students in chairs on a single Count Day to prove to various governments that they need X number of dollars each year, something that had reduced some schools to bribe students to be in school so they could receive more cash.
But isn’t this the future? Aren’t we always going to be tracked in the future? Maybe not in any public sense – like an automatic Foursquare – but in just how technology is proceeding. Isn’t this inevitable? Are we going to contest genomic sequencing from birth on similar grounds? I doubt it.
If I went to school at John Jay, would I contest something like this? I can’t say I would.
Source: The Verge