School yard surveillance – another brick in the wall

September 3, 2007

Schools adopt swipe cards for toilet breaks – National – smh.com.au

Some schools in NSW (Australia) are adopting drastic measures to cut truancy and to stop students smoking between classes.

Swipe cards for toilet access and SMS alerts to parents of absent children are being trialled at some schools and there’s even talk that students will be fingerprinted for identity and movement purposes next year.

Ryde Secondary College students are required to run an identification card through a card reader if they are late, need to leave early, go to the sick bay, see the principal or visit the toilet during class time. A print-out is created – featuring a photo of the student and log in and out times.

Mr Reardon said problems with students smoking when they moved around the grounds during class times, using a toilet break as an excuse, had reduced dramatically. But, he acknowledged: “We’ve got to be sure it’s not a draconian thing.”

The school will trial a fingerprinting system next year.

The company behind the technology, Academy Attendance, is raking in the profits and pushing school surveillance systems. What would happen if a parent decided their kid shouldn’t be swiped in and out of the toilet during breaks, or objected to finger-printing?

How can we improve your school?
Discussions with schools has highlighted the need to improve efficiency and productivity. Academy IT Services can significantly improve existing systems.

Academy has focused its research and development towards providing a system to track student movements in and out of school. To achieve this outcome Academy IT Services is proud to provide the Academy Student Attendance System. This system is currently used by schools across Australia and interfaces with existing School Administration Systems.


Facebook – the new online surveillance tool?

August 27, 2007

Facebook Gets Personal With Ad Targeting Plan – WSJ.com

Social networking is really booming. Sites like Myspace and Facebook allow users to upload tons of information about themselves, photos, embarrasing admissions and all kinds of stuff.
Now Facebook has worked out a way to marketise this aspect of the clickstream.
I think we should all think carefully before posting anything about ourselves online.