The digital tracking and surveillance of school-aged kids has been growing.
Much attention has been given to the phenomenon of corporate tracking
of kids’ online activities, activities that violate the Children’s
Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
The law, originally adopted in 1998, requires Web sites aimed at kids
to get parental consent before gathering information about those users
who are under 13 years. Many companies, including a Disney subsidiary,
have violated it. Corporate marketing interests, most notably Facebook,
are fighting proposed revisions to COPPA.
A second front in the tracking of young people has gotten far less
attention. Schools across the country are adopting a variety of
different tools to monitor students both in school and outside school.
Among these tools are RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags
embedded in school ID cards, GPS tracking software in computers, and
even CCTV video camera systems. According to school authorities, these
tools are being adopted not to simply increase security, but to prevent
truancy, cut down on theft and even improve students' eating habits.