[LINK] RFID Tagging of Children

Richard Chirgwin rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Mon Oct 23 07:47:52 AEST 2006

Geoffrey Ramadan wrote:
> Jan Whitaker wrote:
>> Others please jump in here.
>> At 08:36 PM 22/10/2006, Geoffrey Ramadan wrote:
>>> Jan I am trying to understand how do you weigh up differing and 
>>> conflicting "rights".
>>> Does the greater need  for safety, outweigh privacy issues?
>> That is the choice of the individual, I reckon. I may choose to risk 
>> 'safety' to retain an ability to travel without being surveilled. The 
>> comparison here is a straw man because we have already agreed it is a 
>> dumb system and wouldn't achieve the goal anyway. The bargain is a no 
>> brainer. I won't trade my privacy for a smoke and mirrors promise of 
>> something that won't be delivered. The exchange is unbalanced.
>> In other circumstances the choice must be maintained. For example, 
>> tagging children may be acceptable to some paranoid parents. But 
>> others would never subject their children to being cattle (e-sheep, 
>> given the latest stories from the agriculture arena).
> If I can digress here and relay a real requirement proposed to us:
> a) Organisation A - is running a large event with minors (mainly under 
> 18) (no parents, only supervisors)
> b) Organisation A - wants efficient system to ensure its duty of care 
> obligations are met
> In particular
> - Ensuring all Minors go and return from various day events
> - Ensuring "correct" parents pick up minors
> Also, system required to
> - Ensure food rations supplied
> - Any special dietary requirements noted and observed
> - Able to look up any health needs in case of emergency.
> Our customer wanted to supply RFID tags to the minors for the duration 
> of the event.
> Would anyone have any issues in this provided the principles outlines in:
> http://www.privacy.gov.au/news/media/03_17.html
> were followed?
> As a parent, would you object to this?
I won't add to the already-detailed analysis from Karl, but from the 
parental point of view. Tags as meal counters? - it would collapse at 
the first mealtime:

- "I didn't know you had to bring it!"
- "I don't care what your computer says, I am a vegetarian!"
- "Are you sure there's no chilli in this?"
- "Is that all we get?"
...and so on. Only a first-class idiot would try and micro-manage the 
feeding of any large event, and the idea of tagging as the basis for 
feeding sounds like micro-management to me...

It makes me suspect that Organisation A has the idea that if it can 
spend a few dollars on the technology, it can slim down the number of 

And, still speaking as a parent, I would far rather encourage 
self-reliance in my sons than to teach them that with enough technology, 
you don't have to take care of yourself.

> Regards
> Geoffrey Ramadan B.E.(Elec)
> Chairman, Automatic Data Capture Association (www.adca.com.au)
> and
> Managing Director, Unique Micro Design (www.umd.com.au)
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