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USA : Des cartes à puce pour surveiller les déplacements des élèves.

par John le Dim 1 Déc 2013 - 0:25
CHEVIOT, Ohio — When fourth-grader Abby Ahrens boards her school bus in this Cincinnati suburb, she thrusts out a white card as she passes a small computer screen next to the bus doors.

It beeps, and the monitor lights up briefly. Her mother gets a text message saying her daughter has made it onto the bus.

The same thing happens when Abby gets off the bus at Dater Montessori School in Cincinnati, so Mom knows that Abby has arrived safely.

The ZPass program, a partnership between Cincinnati Public Schools and First Student bus company, is billed as a tool to inform parents and improve ridership data. But it's also one way schools are trying to keep tabs of their students — often to track attendance.

Just north of Cincinnati, Princeton City Schools are piloting a smart-card system that allows students to use their ID cards for everything from buying lunch to checking in when they're tardy.

Schools in Texas tried using global positioning system (GPS) chips to track kids. It was met with controversy and landed one school in federal court.

The increasing availability of such technology stirs a debate about the line between safety and privacy.

"I'd say in the next 10 years this (technology) will be used in most schools. It will become a fact of life." said President John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute, a Virginia-based civil liberties organization that sued the Texas school on behalf of a student. He said schools must be sensitive about how they handle such programs and need opt-out procedures because of privacy concerns.

First Student is rolling out Cincinnati's pilot ZPass program for all 43 of the school district's elementary schools. Cincinnati Public Schools, the region's largest school district, is the first school district in Ohio to use the technology.

Students get special bus cards with microchips that use radio frequency identification device (RFID) technology to log when and where they board and get off the bus. It's the same type of technology that some ranchers use to track their cattle, manufacturers use to track high-value inventory or drivers use when they pay for gas using ExxonMobil's Speedpass. Each bus already is equipped with a GPS tracker to map its route.

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