The Chinese government is putting tracking chips into school uniforms to watch every move kids make

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Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/12/31/the-chinese-government-is-putt.html

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#2

Modern China presents the science fiction vision of a dystopian surveillance state being assembled in plain sight.

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#3

Some company in America is probably already formulating a plan to sell this via a vicious fear-based marketing campaign, I can just feel it in my bones.

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#4

Because facial-recognition is such a 100% effective technology.

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#5

There’s something refreshing about the lack of guile on the part of the Chinese authorities. In the U.S. the intelligent uniforms would (will) be sold soley on the basis that it’s a convenient way to pay for school lunches and that it keeps them safe from paedophiles.

When the time comes to put always-on microphones in every home, the Chinese authorities won’t soft-peddle their main purpose, either.

The big question here is how long will it be until similar tech is employed in other facets of Chinese society

Not very long after it’s tested out in schools and prisons. The factories will be next, once the tracking functionality incorporates Amazon-style hand-movement analysis. Digital Taylorism is very big with these types of employers.

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#6

When I was in USA long ago I was shocked how some parents kept their kids on a leash in public places.

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#7

Regimes like China’s can turn such bugs into features. Somehow the unavoidable errors in these situations have a disproportionate effect on dissidents, labour activists, kids the administrators don’t like, and out-of-favour crony businessmen and their families.

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#8

Yep, people still do that, and it’s still kind of insane to me. I think it’s probably a bad idea that will result in unusual behavioral traits later in life that are unlikely to be worth the moderate ease of wrangling them in the short term. I don’t have, or especially like dealing with children, but I have had to look after them and spend a fair amount of time around them, and it’s always the kids belonging to relatives who resort to things like leashes that are the hardest to connect or establish a mutual understanding with.

Granted, I can’t tell you if it’s a chicken or egg problem, but at least to me there seems to be a reliable correlation between inconsistent parenting and the kind of behavior that results in the apparent need to leash another human being. I’m not saying “bad” parenting, and I’m not trying to shame anybody, but all of the people that I know personally who have resorted to such things are also the people that I notice being inconsistent with their children. I think that authoritarian parenting is a bad idea. I had that growing up, and it was not good for me or my siblings, and I don’t think it usually results in desirable outcomes, but it was at least consistently authoritarian. The thing I’m talking about is when parents swing back and forth between angry authoritarian outbursts, and almost complete passivity.

When they say “kids need structure” I think a lot of people interpret that to mean, “kids need discipline” which eventually gets muddled into “kids need to be punished.” I think the statement is true, kids do need structure, but that is less about discipline and obedience (a word that still makes me gag) and more in the sense that they need to feel like they can absolutely trust their caretakers. When the caretakers are inconsistent, the kids go wild for basically the same reasons adults find the world to be so very goddamned scary and uncomfortable.

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#10

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The future is now, but it’s all going wrong.

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#11

To the benefit of our Chinese readers: tracking chips are not microwave proof.

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#12

Good thing nobody’s watching every move we make here in the US.

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#13

I think the same is true when the caretakers are too harsh. This article makes me wonder what kind of rebellion these students might show after they grow up past the school uniform stage.

OTOH, they might wind up swapping school uniforms for work uniforms. :thinking:

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Am I the only one who expects some major grid-destroying catastrophe in the near future which will render all these nightmarish attempts at ‘total control’ futile?

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#15

“Expects” or “Hopes for”? I mean, it could be both…

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#16

I can’t honestly use the word “hope”; because when ‘the reckoning’ finally comes, it will likely upend much of life as we currently know it.

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#17

Yeah, there’s that, I suppose. On the bright side, if the oil runs out first at least there won’t be biker gangs!

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#18

Yeah… no Mad Max-esque dystopia, if that happens.

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#19

Which is good because I can’t park for shit.

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#20

image

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