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Every once in a while as you surf the internet you stumble upon a common theme that seems to come out of nowhere. And so it was last night. The theme ... the loss of privacy due to tracking.

So three different articles and three very different angles on tracking.

Article 1:Student expelled for refusing to wear RFID tracking chip badge

When I first read this one I was blown away. How could it possibly be legal for a school to require students to carry an RFID identity so that they could be tracked in the school during the day. But hey, its Texas, so I guess anything goes. From wanting to secede from the Union because of the socialist Obama, they manage to somehow think individual tracking of students is ok. WOW!

A student who had protested a pilot program initiated in her school for students to carry IDs with RFID tracking chips embedded was expelled from her school. However, a judge later blocked the suspension pending further hearings.
Andrea Hernandez, a sophomore at the John Jay High School in San Antonio, Tex., did not like the idea of her school tracking her every move, and with the support of her parents, protested the idea over the summer.
Read more:

Article 2: Saudi Arabia implements electronic tracking system for women
So it appears that Saudi women really are the property of their husbands. If they try to leave the country their husband receives an e-mail alerting him to the fact. This is done by the Saudi authorities. Just think of the degree of coordination and observation required to pull this off.

Denied the right to travel without consent from their male guardians and banned from driving, women in Saudi Arabia are now monitored by an electronic system that tracks any cross-border movements.

Since last week, Saudi women’s male guardians began receiving text messages on their phones informing them when women under their custody leave the country, even if they are travelling together.

Article 3: Man uses GPS to catch teacher wife having sex with student in car

Can't resist the dig at a "Christian" school and underaged sex ... but here we have a husband using GPS to find the location of his wife.

A teacher at a private Christian school in Florida has been arrested after her husband found her having sex with a 16-year-old boy in a car.
The Palm Beach Post reports that the cuckolded husband made the shocking discovery after tracking his wife using the GPS signal from her cell phone.
Obviously there are some benefits to tracking. That is not the issue. The real issue is what limits can and should a society place on the ability to track individuals. This is especially relevant when the entity doing the tracking is in fact the government.

From tracking, to monitoring of communications, to reading e-mails we have reached a point where Orwell's Big Brother is banging down the door. Governments have already exceeded reasonable limits ... and have done so with almost no public discussion or consent. This creeping Big Brother state needs to have a spotlight shone upon it so that we, as citizens, can decide what is acceptable ... because clearly our representatives are not paying enough attention, or have been bought off by the security (fear) industry.

Or ... am just paranoid???



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Comment Preferences

  •  It was C. S. Lewis who said back in the fifties (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    taonow, Youffraita, kurt, Chi, George3

    that the power of Man over Nature turns out in practice to be the power of some men (or women, I will add) over others (often not men, though he did not note that).

    He also said that given this fact, that human range of choice has increased as we have gained new technical power but at some point our ability to control others will decrease their choice; there will be (perhaps has been) an apex of human choice. But perhaps with the singularity approaching all this is moot.

    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:17:11 AM PST

  •  I could see, that if the religionists were allowed (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eikyu Saha, MadRuth, jan4insight, kurt, George3

    to outlaw abortion and birth control, that the loss of the vote wouldn't be far behind, with tracking.

    It makes sense.

    You don't want brood mares escaping.

  •  Let's see. If we track children and guns, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, kurt, George3

    together, then we could make sure that no schoolchild is ever separated from his or her personal handgun.  Otherwise, detention it is!  Unfortunately, we can't do that, because guns are human, just like corporations, and it would be immoral to track them.  

  •  And they worry about the number of the beast. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, Dirtandiron, gramofsam1
  •  I am conflicted. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I do not like tracking.  I see all too well how it is already being abused.
    But if my kid was still in school, I'd want the school to have an accurate attendance reporting system that would send up an alert if she didn't arrive in the morning.

    •  rfid (9+ / 0-)

      seems like overkill.

      We get a call at night from the school telling us which classes my kids missed (in high school), if they missed any. And it does not require RFID, just teachers taking a quick attendance check.

      Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. - JFK

      by taonow on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:05:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  An accurate count is fine - but there are other (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      means than using an RFID chip.  If you want the hi-tech approach, options such as a smartcard reader on the desk or a fingerprint scan going into the classroom would work.  True, not as robust maybe but certainly more accurate.  With just a little thought, it becomes clear that an RFID system could be easily defeated or spoofed. The simplest being for one student to pass-thru the portal carrying the cards of one or more other students.  More sophisticated approaches would rely upon capturing the ids of other students and then using a (simple to build) device to send those signals on demand.

      Good Sense is Seldom Common

    •  This is just a matter (0+ / 0-)

      of having good, well qualified teachers, with classes that are not too large, keeping track of the kids.  It worked in the past and it can work now.  It's called "taking attendance".

  •  technology always brings a cost (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, Dirtandiron, George3

    evil will always seize inventions for evil purposes. so we must be diligent and careful.   if we keep talking about it, we can keep it at bay. I hope.

    sometimes I spend more time reading the comments than the diaries. no offense to diarists: thanks for the launch pad.

    by dunnjen on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:39:06 AM PST

  •  A few thoughts about tracking (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    GPS systems in cars not only can give you directions to where you’re going, but some of them can help you recover a stolen car (which is good) or locate your car if the air bags deploy in an accident and you’re unconscious (also good). You can also use them to track other people using your car (your teenager or spouse, for example).  Maybe not so good.

    I’ve heard stories that if an employee gets a free smart phone with GPS (as part of their job), some companies will track their employees in their off-time (which I would argue is none of their business).

    I read an interesting story on one of the tech websites, CNET maybe. The reporter wanted to make a point about tracking people. He picked out a woman at random. She was taking photos with her iPhone in Golden Gate Park on a certain day at a certain time. And the reporter knew that iPhone pictures contain a metadata section, with date, time, and GPS data. There are picture-sharing websites and sometimes you can zoom in and find pictures from a particular location (like Golden Gate Park). So a little later he found the pictures she took from the park, so he found her user name, and then looked at her other pictures and found pictures from her house/apartment, with GPS info. So, basically, he saw a woman taking photos in a park and found out where she lived. The point of the article is that our devices save information about us that we might not know about and if someone wants to discover more information about you, they might be able to.

    But the angle said to them, "Do not be Alfred. A sailor has been born to you"

    by Dbug on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:26:47 PM PST

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