July 12, 2004 7:55 PM PDT

Japan school kids to be tagged with RFID chips

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The rights and wrongs of using radio frequency identification (RFID) tags on humans have been debated since the tracking tags reached the technological mainstream. Now, school authorities in the Japanese city of Osaka have decided the benefits outweigh the disadvantages and will now be chipping children in one primary school.

The tags will be read by readers installed in school gates and other key locations to track the kids' movements.

The chips will be put onto kids' schoolbags, name tags or clothing in one Wakayama prefecture school. Denmark's Legoland introduced a similar scheme last month to stop young children going astray.

RFID is more commonly found in supermarket and other retailers' supply chains, however, companies are now seeking more innovative ways to derive value from the tracking technology. Delta Air Lines recently announced it would be using RFID to track travelers' luggage.

Jo Best of Silicon.com reported from London.

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