Missouri lawmakers are rallying behind a bill that seeks to eliminate the use of RFID badges in state schools. Citing student privacy and security, legislators have taken a firm stance on RFID, particularly as it relates to the use of the technology for tracking purposes.
Lawmakers in the state have now passed measures that would bar school districts from requiring students to use technology IDs for the purpose of monitoring students’ location. The privacy bill extends beyond student IDs, as it would also limit the disclosure of library records regarding use of e-books and digital materials.
As SFGate.com reports, both bills are en route to Gov. Jay Nixon’s desk, where they will await a final signature.
With regards to public school students, the bill is primarily concerned with radio frequency identification (RFID) and similar technologies. Missouri seems to have taken notice of similar RFID implementations and the backlash that can follow.
Schools in Texas have used RFID technology for student ID badges in the past. It’s a decision that has generated controversy particularly in San Antonio where legal action was taken by a student who claimed the RFID badge violated her religious beliefs.
Legislative supporters of Missouri’s measure say they aren’t aware of any programs in their state like that in Texas, and seem adamant that they don’t want them to start any time soon. Though technology industry representatives suggest the fear is without merit, Missouri lawmakers maintain that RFID tracking could leave students vulnerable to attack via a hack into the system and allow for the subsequent acquisition of a student’s location.
This isn’t the first time that Missouri has come up against ID technology, as a 2008 Missouri law bars employers from requiring workers to get a microchip ID designed to contain a unique ID number and personal information.