Campus Cards, College and University Identification and Security

No RFID-equipped ID card? Prepare to suffer the consequences

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Things are getting a tad testy at a Texas school district which is piloting a program that requires students at two schools to wear RFID-enabled ID badges that can be used to track their movement while at school.

Some students are refusing to wear the badges, claiming their right to privacy is being violated. As a result, they may not be able to participate in school activities.

Since Oct. 1, students at John Jay High School and Anson Jones Middle School in San Antonio have been asked to attend class with photo ID cards that contain an RFID chip.


District administrators say the system is being used to reduce truancy that can have an economic impact on dollars the schools receive from the state.

Students who refuse to walk the school halls with the card in their pocket or around their neck claim they have been barred from participating in certain school functions. Some also said they were turned away from common areas like cafeterias and libraries.

One student said educators have ignored her pleas to respect her privacy and told her she cannot participate in school elections if she refuses to wear the badge.

If the program is judged successful, students at all 112 schools in the district could be required to wear the RFID badges.

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Contract changes and expirations have caused a crunch for University of Chicago students looking to top up their ID cards with laundry funds.

The University removed cash-to-card machines from residence halls at the beginning of this academic year, leaving students with just two locations at which they can reload their ID cards for laundry. Now, rather than having machines located in residence halls, the students must report to two central locations, a campus convenience store and Bartlett Hall, a highly trafficked building that contains a dining hall, and other student resources.

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Indiana University’s Student Association has passed a resolution that will allow students’ preferred names to appear on their IDs rather than their legal names.

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HID Global and Vanderbilt University have partnered to install a new access control system that leverages smartphones and Bluetooth Smart. The new pilot aims to demonstrate mobile’s capabilities as a convenient and compelling alternative to opening doors.

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Syracuse University did not consider its entire student body when making the decision to add a new, more expensive technology feature to Syracuse University ID cards. At least that’s the general consensus around campus.

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