Thursday, August 19, 2010

Does Your Student Use Facebook or My Space? Inquiring District Minds Want to Know

Well, not really but it might come to that.

Boy, I missed this but here's a report from KOMO-tv about a new policy passed by the Board last night. From the article:

What Seattle school students post on public sites such as Facebook or MySpace could get them in trouble -- even if done at home on their private computers, according to a new policy going into effect for the coming school year.

For example, if you were to write, "I'm going to kick your butt" on another student's page and the school principal hears about it, they can do something about it, even if you wrote it from your iPhone miles away from campus.

Apparently the district itself won't be monitoring the sites but if a parent or a student "alerts" them to something written online, they'll look into it.

What if a over-zealous principal or counselor monitors the sites? Is that acceptable or only reports from outside the district?

The reporter asks, "What about if a kid says something negative about a teacher?" Free speech or not?

The district spokesperson says, "I think, again, that would be up to the principal to decide after he's taken a look."

The principal? Really, judge and jury all in one?

Boy, this has trouble written all over it, going both ways. I get that the district wants to head off trouble (and avoid possible lawsuits) but kids sometimes say (and write) crazy things. I'm sure you can find suicide talk, murder talk, crude talk and downright mean talk. Does that mean every student who says something stupid is going to act on it?

Hey, look who's interested in this policy - the ACLU.

P.S. Luke Duecy, the KOMO-tv reporter, was having a very hard time today getting anyone from the district to talk to him. The Board passes a fairly controversial policy and they didn't think anyone would want a comment from the Board or the district?


Here is the changed/added wording from the handbook about electronic issues:

The District will respond to off-campus student speech that causes or threatens to
cause a substantial disruption on campus or interferes with the right of students to be
secure and obtain their education.

When away-from-school jurisdiction is asserted and a crime has been committed, schools
generally report the crime to the proper law enforcement agency. A school may, however, have
jurisdiction over offenses that are not criminal in nature.

Deliberately arranging a fight or willingly participating in such an arranged fight not
involving anger or hostility, that creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to the
* * * * *
The District retains the right to respond to off campus student speech that includes using
electronic means to set up or arrange a fight, such as, but not limited to, texting, Face
Book©, My Space© or other social Internet sites, if the fight occurs or is to occur on
school grounds, or just before or after the school day.

Under Harassment:

The District will respond to off-campus student speech that causes or threatens to cause a
substantial disruption on campus or interference with the right of students to be secure
and obtain their education. Substantial disruption includes, but is not limited to,
significant interference with instruction, school operations or school activities, violent
physical or verbal altercations between students, or a hostile environment that
significantly interferes with a student’s education.

Not on the same subject but new as well:

Advance written permission must be submitted to the school principal for a student who by statute can have pepper gas/spray in his/her possession.

Under Theft,burglary and malicious mischief:

Stealing school district property or the property of a staff member, student, or school

This includes theft of intellectual property, such as, but not limited to, looking at or
taking a teacher’s test or notes for a test, artwork, or any other teacher or student
intellectual property.

Plagiarism includes:
  • Using another writer’s words or ideas without proper citation, or merely rearranging or changing a few of the author’s words and presenting the result as your own work, or not using quotation marks when citing a source;
  • Having someone else write your paper, program, or project, including asking friends, paying someone, using a paper writing service, or taking information verbatim off the Internet.
  • Copying another student’s work during a test, lab, or classroom activity and turning it in as your own. This is ―cheating‖.
Also new:

Parents must be told about their right to appeal and that an appeal must be initiated within three days of when the parent received notice of the misconduct.

It used to be two days.


no-one said...

There's a really easy solution to this. Don't let your kids use (any of those) services. Period.

Some parents think they can't prevent it, and while it may be true that you can't absolutely 100% prevent any possible use, you can make it known that it's not acceptable. You can't 100% prevent your 13 year old from drugs/alcohol, but your tone and home policies can make a huge difference.

They don't need it, and especially for kids/teens there are serious downsides to exposing your lives online. The data never goes away, and because the corporate policies are constantly shifting, you really have no control over who has access to your kid's personal information. Don't ever forget that these corporations own your kid's data! Facebook is constantly changing their policies, each time making more and more info visible to more people (usually without any explicit consent), up to and including fully open to anyone on the internet. Their new Places "feature" even encourages friends to do "checkins" for you, so others can track your location on a real-time basis, even if you choose not to do this yourself!

Sure, it gets more difficult to restrict this as the kids get older, and by the time they're almost done with high school there may be a lot more social pressure to partake, but the same thing holds true for underage drinking and other stuff that they really shouldn't be doing. At least make a strong effort to keep them away from these "services" for as long as possible.

ParentofThree said...

No-one, I don't think the "Just Say No" policy will work for social media any better than it did than with the war on drugs. This is here to stay and is how our kids socialize. Remember the movie "Flash Dance?" These kids are going to post to these sites, no matter what we parents say or do. So you need to monitor their activity, give them guidelines and explain the consequences that their online behaviour can lead them to if they cross the line.

As far as the district is concerned, good luck with them trying to be the parent. Nothing but trouble ahead here. I think this whole "policy" came down as a result of the McClure FB indicent, which made the NYT. and heaven forbid SPS would get bad publicity, especially nationally.

So they have a policy, problem solved. We see how that works out for them.

For example, what if my child posts, "I am gonna kick your butt", and is simply referring to a Chem test they have the next day? Can you imagine all the wasted time a school admin would spend on that?

Leave the parenting to me and the teaching to them.

Sahila said...

I understand the dangers inherent in social media/the net for everyone, including children...but.....

some of this stuff is a developmental rite-of-passage for all of us...

ever since kids got to congregate in large numbers in schools, for example, there have been kids behind the bike sheds or in the toilets talking about, laughing about, even physically exploring their sexuality together (and there were sick individuals watching them, flashing them, enticing them etc, etc...)... I remember that playground atmosphere and I remember being "flashed" after school on the way to the bus stop one winter's afternoon, when I was about 12...

It happened, there may or may not have been adult guidance/action/conversation about all of that, and we all grew up regardless... and its still happening and it wont ever not happen...


So I think the authorities are over-reaching to claim they need to do this to keep kids safe.... its more curtailing of personal freedom for very little benefit...

Dorothy Neville said...

This is from the handbook changes, yes? That KOMO report is pretty vague. Am I the only one who has read the handbook? Since I testified about it on Wednesday. My testimony was specific on the community engagement aspect but I did read and wonder about this part.

I almost spoke about it as being too vaguely worded but on reading it over, I wasn't sure I could. It does qualify it somewhat, substantially disruptive and all that. There is a part of the Student's Rights about Free Speech. The intent of this bit is (I am thinking) to remind kids that threats and hate speech are not protected as Free speech. They could have done a better job at stating that.

Perhaps if they had regular community engagement in the annual review and updating of the handbook....

CCM said...

Our kids don't use Facebook or MySpace - but they do use gmail buzz.

They are in middle school and I would say half of their friends are on Facebook and half are not. The ones with older siblings are more likely to have an account.

Even with gmail buzz, it has given me the opportunity to talk to them about posting comments and what's appropriate or not. There was one posting from a "friend of a friend" talking about how she "hated" this girl etc. etc. I explained that even though that "girl" was not a follower of the post - she would probably still hear about it from someone and it would likely cause problems at school later.

We can't ignore the social media world - its here to stay. It is the parent's responsibility to monitor it (insist on your child's password if you ok the account and check the account after they go to bed a couple times a week).

My sibling has kids in high school and college - and she asked their aunts and uncles to "friend" them on Facebook to keep an eye on their posts. It works pretty well.

Dorothy Neville said...

I just watched the video and man is that vague and unhelpful! Read the handbook changes yourself before making up your mind.

Again. They should have a regular policy of having ASBs and parent reps from PTSAs review the changes as community engagement.

Anyway, my other feeling was they spent all that time and energy reporting on *that*? Without even clearly explaining where the policy is so others could find it?

Why not report on the seven thousand dollar party or the scandal with the one point eight million dollars and the bought out contract?

Sahila said...


Pity our educational system doesnt factor all of this into what and how we teach...

Seems to me its kept itself stuck working in the world of the 50s...

CCM said...

Re: the District overseeing my child's social media page -- no I don't like it. I believe in taking personal responsibility and teaching our kids the same.

But I understand where its coming from - a desperate attempt to "control" the potentially negative outcomes before they happen and CYA for the district.

The same reason why we are all going to be "naked" screened at the airport starting next month.

Unknown said...

My kids use Facebook, and I insist that I am a 'friend' on their account. I see the potential for abuse between kids, but ParentofThree is right, it's the way kids communicate these days.

Being their "friend" has given me wonderful insights into their social world which I really appreciate. Middle schoolers and high schoolers are still stupid, funny, smart, silly, insightful and warm -- like they've always been.

I'm okay with the District alerting parents to the possibility that these conversations might, for example, be used in a bullying investigation. Kids relate to one another 24/7 these days (or in my family's case, until 10 pm). If you hassle another kid face to face at school, then on line later that night, it's relevant to the inquiry.

Dorothy Neville said...

So you know you can be your kid's FB friend and still be blocked from their wall, or from seeing some of their posts? It's all customizable.

No matter what the wording in the handbook, we must do our jobs and teach students to recognize the distinction between hate speech, threats and free speech.

Unfortunately, Morse vs Frederick gives the district more justification for their wording.

Dorothy Neville said...

And I know Morse v Frederick was at a school event off campus. But some of the argument was about disruptiveness.

Really, this shows that the local media isn't paying attention or chooses not to report on things that matter. Did KOMO report this only because the ACLU is interested?

Linda Shaw heard Melissa talk about the Silas Potter thing. That's big bucks. Where's the furor there?

imblogger said...

During my child's 4th grade year, two of her friends engaged in a "fight" via email. Within a week, different girls were aligning themselves with one of the two girls. The nasty things that were being said electronically were spilling into the school-day and, at the time, my daughter thought that the girls were going to fight during recess. When she told me, I contacted the principal. Before I contacted the principal, apparently no school staff were aware of the situation.

To me, this is a perfect example of why school staff need to be aware of what is going on with student's electronic socializing if what is being posted or sent is bullying. What is said online does not stay online -- it spills over to the school day.

Staff don't have the time to monitor sites like Facebook. However, if alerted to possible online bullying, they may be better able to prevent bullying that may spill over onto the playground, hallways, and classrooms.

Last year, a few student's at my daughter's school set up a Facebook page entitled, "[staff name] sucks". When I looked at the page, I was struck by how many students posted comments on the page considering their comments were there for the world to see. When I told school staff about the page, they indicated that they were aware of it. Did they monitor it on a regular basis? No -- who has the time? However, my guess is that their reaction would have been different if the Facebook page was targeted at a student and not a staff member.

Should parents be the primary monitor of their children's electronic communications? Absolutely! However, I bet the parents who post on this blog are generally very involved in the lives of their children and do monitor electronic communication. I also bet that many parents are not that involved and do not monitor. I bet most of the kids who posted on the Facebook page I mentioned above were not monitored by their parents. I know the two 4th graders were not.

Charlie Mas said...

I was in the Curriculum and Instruction Policy Committee meeting where the change was discussed by two Board members and I think the change is fine.

It isn't a matter of policing activity off-campus but a recognition that off-campus events have an impact on campus.

The limits of school officials' authority is ambiguous. A fight on campus? Their authority. A fight off campus? Not sure. A fight immediately after school, just across the street from the school, between students at the school who were squabbling on their way out of school? Most folks would say that is a school issue.

This is the same.

Here's the interesting thing about electronic speach: it's happening 24/7. So if a student posts "[schoolmate] is a [something bad]" on the web when the student is at home, the student is still saying that while at school. And speach made while at school IS within the school official's authority.

I don't think we need to worry much about excessive use of this authority. Those cases can be addressed as they arise.

Charlie Mas said...

By the way, much of what is written here could be seen as online harassment of school officials or hate speach.

Sahila said...

I remember lots of (serious and not so serious) factional "fighting" in my growing up days, between cliques of girls or gangs of boys or even one or two people, that either started at school and spilled into out-of-school activities or vice versa....

There never were and are not now any boundaries for kids (or arguably, for adults) and to think you can create them by separating arenas is not realistic...

Dorothy Neville said...

What are fourth graders doing on Facebook? Did they lie about their age or did a parent authorize their use?

My son set up a FB page in homage to a teacher. I saw it and was concerned but he insisted that a hate page about a person was against the terms of service and he wouldn't do that. For sure, the posts he and others posted had all been civil and friendly.

Dorothy Neville said...

oops, my bad. I see the fourth graders weren't on FB, but in email.

Unknown said...

I admit that I let my 6th grader get a FB page by using her older sibling's year of birth. At some point we do begin to have conversations that when adults say "never, ever lie," they themselves use "white lies" all the time. To the extent I was on any pedestal at that point, I clearly came off it that day.

Anonymous said...


Are you saying that there always was and always will be bullying and oh well if someone had something bad happen to them? And that even if knowing bullying was going on outside of school and yet tied to it, the school authorities have no business trying to stop it?

If that's the case, I would have to strongly disagree with you. As someone who was on the receiving end of bullying as a middle-schooler, if Facebook had been around, I can assure you that what I had to deal with would have progressed beyond harassment in the halls and mocking phone calls. It would have damn well been helpful if the administration could have used FB posts to help stop what was going on. A right of passage? Please.

And as the mother of a child who spent the last 2 years being subtly bullied in class, I can tell you that the schools would have my permission to investigate ALL the sources of bullying if social media was involved. You may see it as a right of passage but this is one area where I think it's a good idea for schools to get involved, as long as there are guidelines to follow.

Oh, and I read your link up until my eyes glazed over from the length-that scenario the author starts out with never existed except for a small pocket of middle/upper class families. Just as the crazy "today" family discussing sex at the dinner table isn't very common, if at all. So I don't think it was very useful.

Sahila said...

I didnt say anything about bullying being OK... and I got bullied as well and I had to step in when my kids got bullied...

I'm saying you cant impose artificial boundaries and hope to curtail this...

You can talk about it, prepare your children to deal with it, help them through it IF IT HAPPENS TO THEM THOUGH THEY ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE ABUSED BY THOSE THEY KNOW AND TRUST and accept that in this reality, this portion of the universe, given human nature these issues will always be with us...

I'n saying you cant ban everything in the hope of keeping kids safe and unsavory behaviour out of their experience... its not possible... so deal with what really is much more permanently damaging for more kids - sexual, physical and emotional abuse, rape, alcohol and drug addiction...

And some things kids have to figure out for themselves... are they going to have you walking hand in hand with them every day of their lives?

Its better, in my opinion, for them to be confronted by the facts of life early, than to be kept isolated in a sterile environment so that its a complete culture shock when they do step out into the world independently...

And they need to learn to make wise choices for themselves... not a skill they develop if the adults do all the decision making and gatekeeping for them all their lives...

Anonymous said...

Well, again, Sahila, I will disagree. No one is advocating banning everything. And I would venture that bullying CAN be just as permanently damaging as the other things you list. And I would venture that the type of bullying that goes on in school is very much likely to be done by NON relatives.

You're talking about two entirely different things here. And having a parent step in when a child is bullied-as you yourself has done, is not holding them by the hand every step they take. Of course you give them tools to deal with it, but having additional armor for when it happens, in the guise of administrators having the authority to address social networking bullying, is an extra step than can help.

Linda Thomas said...

I did this story Thurs. a.m. after the school board meeting. It gives more details, including a quote from one school board member before they unanimously passed the "off campus speech" changes. ACLU is reviewing the changes, which appear on at least 5 pages of the handbook. There's a link in this story to the document with the changes highlighted in yellow.


no-one said...

ever since kids got to congregate in large numbers in schools, for example, there have been kids behind the bike sheds or in the toilets talking about, laughing about, even physically exploring their sexuality together

Sure, and to some degree what you're talking about is just part of growing up - IF it doesn't get out of hand.

What's not okay is allowing kids to participate in public forums such as Facebook (or gbuzz or any of these sites), because these fun and games, or "rites of passage" are no longer restricted to a small group of friends/family, and in general never, ever, ever go away.

When Johnny and Sally got caught "exploring their sexuality" under the bleachers 20 years ago it may have been humiliating when their friends teased them, but in a few weeks (or few months if it was especially bad) it was pretty much over and the kids moved onto the next silly event. Now, the same event is just as likely to be video'd by another student's iPhone, published to youtube and links sent within the hour to everyone via various social networks, where parents, relatives, future employers, anyone can see it and use it against your kids at some later date. And you have no way to force these sites to remove anything, even if it's your kid getting bullied or brutally beat up on video (look it up). They'll need to be prepared to live with the entire world watching, over and over again For.The.Rest.Of.Their.Lives!

There is no age limit on stupidity (see all the stupid things college kids post without consideration of the future). Hell, even a lot of adults for that matter. But certainly for middle school kids, and probably many high-schoolers there really is no appropriate depth of understanding of what it means to post stuff online.

And Rosie, just because you're a "friend" doesn't mean you get to see anything and everything that goes on. The only way to approach that is if you have your kid's password and use it regularly. And yes, letting your underage kid get on Fb was definitely falling off your pedestal. You set a terrible example by showing your kid that if you don't like the rules, you can ignore them. Nice job. :-(

This is here to stay and is how our kids socialize. ... These kids are going to post to these sites, no matter what we parents say or do.

ParentOfThree, what a sad attitude. No matter what you tell your kids, they're not going to listen? You have no influence over your kids' use of technology and no say in how they do or don't socialize? If your kids are 18 and ready to graduate from high school, I might have a little sympathy, but if they're in middle school or younger, you most certainly have the last word.

Folks, no matter what your kids tell you, it's not critical that they partake in this stuff at this age! If you want them to, hey, that's your (misguided, IMO) choice, but don't be fatalistic - grow up and be a parent!

One last note. Facebook in particular is constantly changes their policies, and it's always at the expense of your (or your kid's) privacy. Never the other way around. It's clear that they are not doing this for your benefit! Take a look at this fantastic dynamic chart:


no-one said...

Here's a clickable link:

The Evolution of Facebook Privacy

Sahila said...

I wonder why all the upset... many seem to think you really do have any privacy left... we dont, none of us do...

You know those lovely little debit and credit cards you've got in your wallet or back pocket ... they're equipped with a chip that allows you (and what you do/buy) to be tracked wherever you go...

Did you know you might have one of those chips embedded in an item of clothing you're wearing?

That's one reason why I post everything in my own name (the other is an issue of ethics - being willing to be visible and held accountable)... unless I have military-level capacity to cover my tracks, whatever I do is discoverable anyway - so why waste the energy trying to maintain 'privacy'...


Anonymous said...

I looked at your link (Wikipedia, aka, "the most reliable source in the universe" insert sarcastic font here) and from what I can see there and on Snopes (mythbusting website) the product chips are for inventory control and are used only in-house to track how many of any one item is in stock.

As the child of a person who owned a store which had plenty of shoplifters, item tracking seems like a good idea. The "smart cards" are to protect identity theft-wouldn't you WANT to make sure that YOU are the person using your debit or credit card? They aren't scanning them to see where you walked your dog, for crying out loud.

There is a conspiracy group SAYING they're in existence to spy on people (why am I not surprised that's the side you're on?) but I don't see them offering much proof of this. People wouldn't be able to go missing as easily as they do if we were all being tracked like you say.

Man, I couldn't get up in the moring if I thought everyone/compan/government/group was out to get me.

no-one said...

I wonder why all the upset... many seem to think you really do have any privacy left... we dont, none of us do...

Maybe you don't, and don't care. But I do, and my (everyone's) kids deserve to make that decision for themselves when they're old enough to truly understand the ramifications.

You know those lovely little debit and credit cards you've got in your wallet or back pocket ... they're equipped with a chip that allows you (and what you do/buy) to be tracked wherever you go...

We're getting a little off-track here, but anyone who accepts those cards with arphids is either ignorant or a fool. A 2-minute call to your bank and they'll re-issue you a card without it. If you're so inclined you can destroy them manually, but it's better for people to let their banks know that they don't want that crap carried around on their person.

Watch Adam Savage (MythBusters) slip up and say some stuff he shouldn't have said publicly about RFID on credit cards (less than 2 min, it's really good)

Adam Savage and "The RFID Censorship Question"

Similar wireless tech is now embedded in new DL and passports, but at least they advise you on how to shield them. The default shields don't work as well as they should, but at least they're trying. Sort of.

Think this is trivial or petty? For a couple hundred bucks anyone can easily make a device that sits in your car, that allows you to drive around and sniff out passport data via RFID. From a distance. Much of the personal data is encrypted, but data can be correlated, and the more arphids you carry, the more likely you can be personally identified. And arphids can be cloned. Even just being able to autonomously detect someone's nationality when traveling abroad is a threat. If you don't care about your own safety, at least consider your kids.

Cloning passport card RFIDs in bulk

no-one said...

As the child of a person who owned a store which had plenty of shoplifters, item tracking seems like a good idea.

agibean, it sounds like you're confusing anti-theft tags with RFID. Anti-theft tags are great, and have been in use for many years. When you've purchased the item the tags are either cut off by the retailer (like clothing) or discarded with the wrapping (like DVDs). Helps cut down on shoplifting, good stuff.

RFID tags are being used by the huge retailers (Walmart) for inventory control. They're not going to help independent retailers like your parent, at least not any time in the near future. They've crept into the system slowly, starting at the palette level and now Walmart is forcing their suppliers to start embedding them in individual products. And because they are easily readable without contact, even at a distance, and so small as to be undetectable by most people in normal circumstances, there is valid concern about how they might be used over time if they become commonplace, especially in articles of clothing.

The "smart cards" are to protect identity theft-wouldn't you WANT to make sure that YOU are the person using your debit or credit card?

Sorry, but this is just a silly comment. There is absolutely no evidence that RFID tags in CCs help with security. In fact the opposite is most certainly true, as your data can easily be acquired without your consent. What they do provide is a tiny bit of convenience, in that you don't have to actually physically swipe your card at the checkstand, and can wave it without contact. It's amazing to think some people are really that lazy.

They aren't scanning them to see where you walked your dog, for crying out loud.

Yes, the nefarious "they" (government?) is unlikely to care about where you're walking your dog.

But marketing these days is all about profiling. And tracking. It's done online with incredible accuracy, and organizations have billions of dollars at stake and are dying to be able to better correlate that data with known individual people and real-time location. And RFID tags carried in our person enable that type of tracking. You can shield your passport (kind of) and driver's license, but if these devices become commonplace in your clothing, etc., all bets are off.

This is not some secret, dastardly, tinhat government conspiracy. It's driven by big money and large marketing and advertisers who understand that it's incredibly powerful information. And it absolutely, unequivocally will be taken advantage of in the future - unless legislation is not put in place to curtail it. These guys are really smart, and just like the doubleclicks of the online world aggregate and disaggregate this information from millions of web sites to build profiles, enterprising companies are champing at the bit to do the same thing in the real world. This is not in question, there's just too much money at stake.

Even if you can live with "legitimate" marketers having access to this kind of information (no thanks), the problem is that once those systems are put in place there are a million ways they can be abused. Most of which we haven't even thought of yet. As parents, that should be of particular concern, since our kids are going to have to grow up and live with whatever we let it become.

Sahila said...

I wasnt trivialising it, no-one...

I know all the stuff you write about, but how many people do? And no, they're not idiots if they dont know - technology is moving so fast many people cant keep up and the invasion of privacy issues are never debated until after the fact anyway...

I was saying the majority of people dont know about this, have already lost their (illusory) privacy and its much better to educate your kids than to try to keep things boundaried and in separate arenas, which is impossible... and I think schools go to far in trying to deal with this, a losing battle...

its the same as the sex-pregnancy thing... you can try to keep kids away from exploring (with little success) and all those teenage mothers with their babies out there (wonder where the fathers are???) prove that the consequences of one action can have an uneraseable effect for your entire life... but how are you ever going to stop this phenomenon?

You cant unless you look each child into an isolation chamber...

Its the same with the facebook/myspace issues...

So stop wasting time and energy on trying to ban and start educating...

Sahila said...

Oh, and a belated PS... I worked for microsoft for a while last year. It was my job to demonstrate prototype software and hardware to senior international government and business leaders...

And a lot of what was being forecast for the immediate future was built on RFID...








You know those snazzy techie scenes in all the crime shows, such as CSI? The producers came through the Envisioning Center and took that technology from there...

Oh, and who amongst us has bothered to turn off the GPS in our mobile phones? You're already trackable every moment of the day with that little charmer left on...

Sahila said...


no-one said...

And no, they're not idiots if they dont know - technology is moving so fast many people cant keep up

I didn't say they're idiots. I said "either ignorant or a fool". The former is by far the most common, and it's not judgmental, merely a fact. Mostly due to exactly what you state.

And this precisely is why we should all work to educate those around us, not bury our heads in the sand and either pretend it doesn't exist or resign ourselves to "the inevitable" like sheep!

http://www.officelabs.com/projects/productivityfuturevision/Pages/default.aspx, etc.

I see lots of links, but there's nothing of substance on the pages I saw. And the videos require silverlight (no thanks!).

Oh, and who amongst us has bothered to turn off the GPS in our mobile phones? You're already trackable every moment of the day with that little charmer left on...

I'm certainly not. Anyone who cares about this stuff disables those things immediately (to the extent possible). And again, most people are totally ignorant, and many others don't care. People need to be better informed!

I don't know if you're truly unaware of how the technology works or just playing devil's advocate, but the big difference between GPS in your phone and RFID is that GPS requires your device to initiate a location transaction. So unless you install applications that perform tracking or otherwise authorize such, you're relatively free of unscrupulous tracking. With the exception in some cases of your telco or service provider themselves, and they have serious legal restrictions on how they are allowed to use that data.

RFID, on the other hand, is snaggable by anyone and everyone who has interest. With no legal restrictions, and virtually no way to enforce how it can be used, misused, aggregated and disaggregated. And if/as it gets more common, it will be most certainly be used for a lot of very bad purposes. Not only for marketing, but insurance companies would love this data. Your violent ex-spouse. Criminal elements. It doesn't take a lot of imagination, and it certainly doesn't take a radical tin hat mentality to see where this will end up if it gets wired into our society without serious restrictions.

Sahila said...

no one.... I am not arguing with you... I dont disagree with anything you posit...

I'm saying its here already, so stop wasting energy trying to ban/quarantine it from our kids (pretty much impossible) and start educating....

no-one said...

It sounded like an argument! :-)

And we did get sidetracked by the RFID stuff, which is a different (although tangentially related) issue.

But to come full circle back to Facebook, education and banning (for kids) are not mutually exclusive. Just like most responsible parents will educate their kids on the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse, they also ban any use by the kids while they are kids. Kids are kids, physically, mentally and emotionally, and all the online "social networking" crap that's being shoved in front of their faces all the time is not age appropriate.

The thing that surprises me most is that you're (at least giving the impression) of a "it's here, can't avoid it" attitude, which is SO unlike you! We could all take the same attitude with the district administration and policies, but we don't! We do our damnedest to educate and fight for what is right, not bleat along like sheep. And it's not "pretty much impossible" to restrict - it's very easy, you just have to do it.