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article imageBrazilian school district using computer chips to track students

By Leigh Goessl     Mar 24, 2012 in World
A Brazilian school district is looking to reduce truancy and, as a solution, plans to use computer chips to help reach this goal.
One school is in the midst of unveiling a program where computer chips are embedded in the shirts of the student uniforms.
Called "intelligent uniforms," the chips will track a student's every move and keep both the schools and parents apprised of what children are doing.
BBC News reported about 20,000 students in the city of Vitoria da Conquista will be wearing microchips in their clothing. School authorities say this program will improve on teacher-parent relations.
"We noticed that many parents would bring their children to school but would not see if they actually entered the building because they always left in a hurry to get to work," Coriolano Moraes, the city's education director, told the Associated Press, said BBC News.
Parents will receive text messages when children arrive at school, or if they are tardy for a class. If the child still does not show up after 20 minutes, the parent will receive a subsequent text stating "Your child has still not arrived at school."
Tracking chips have long been a controversial issue and many have long felt it was eventually going to happen; to date many approaches have been tried. Japan had initiated a similar program several years ago.
Tracking has also emerged as a hot topic in many U.S. schools as well, usually ending up in abandonment due to the privacy issues involved.
In 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had even approved the Veri-Chip, a computer chip for humans, to be allowed to be embedded underneath the skin. As technology progresses and affords these types of uses, it raises some ethical issues.
Reportedly all Vitoria da Conquista students between 4 and 14 years will be tagged with microchips by next year. For parents, no extra care is seemingly needed for the uniform. Authorities said the shirts can be washed and ironed with no problem, and are said to be tamper proof.
More about Brazil, Computer chips, Privacy, tracking students, Vitoria da Conquista
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