Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I am receiving your blazer loud and clear, Tompkins

I do hope this is just a silly season story.

The Guardian reports:
A school uniform maker said yesterday it was "seriously considering" adding tracking devices to its clothes after a survey found many parents would be interested in knowing where their offspring were ...

Trutex ... commissioned an online survey for 809 parents and 444 children aged between nine and 16. It said 44% of the adults were worried about the safety of pre-teen children and 59% would be interested in satellite tracking systems being incorporated in schoolwear. While nearly four in 10 pupils aged 12 and under were prepared to go along with the idea, teenagers were more wary of "spying".

Clare Rix, the marketing director, said: "As well as being a safety net for parents, there could be real benefits for schools who could keep a closer track on the whereabouts of their pupils, potentially reducing truancy levels."

Maybe it is just another meaningless survey, but it is also a reminder that the push towards a surveillance society does not come only from government. There are plenty of commercial interests only too happy to play on people's fears too.

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