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General Chat Thread, Experience with RFID anybody? in General; Looking to implement an RFID staff monitoring (in the interest of fire safety) and wondering if anybody out there has ...
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    Ben_Stanton's Avatar
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    Experience with RFID anybody?

    Looking to implement an RFID staff monitoring (in the interest of fire safety) and wondering if anybody out there has experience?

    I know the fundementals and think I have it sussed but would rather someone verify...

    Cheers

    Ben

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Re: Experience with RFID anybody?

    You mean rfid tagging all staff to monitor where they are?

    Even though you are doing with a good reason to make sure everyone is out of the building I think you will face some backlash over invasion of privacy.

    How are you going to inforce it? do you have backing of head, lea and unions?

    If not I'd forget about it.

    Ben

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    Re: Experience with RFID anybody?

    RFID chips in ID cards, active loops in doorways of key areas and a good lawyer.

    Theoretically you can also use your Wireless network to track as a number of controllers (Cisco and BlueSocket) have modules that cover this.

    Failing that you can give everyone a PDA and track them via that.

    We do not have it ... too expensive to set up and too annoying to maintain (you should hear the stories of 20 people being in the same toilet cubicle!).

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    Re: Experience with RFID anybody?

    I'm sure some kind of painless dart gun could be used, to tag them unawares in the wilds of the staffroom

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    Ben_Stanton's Avatar
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    Re: Experience with RFID anybody?

    We had an incident last term when the fire alarm was raised after 4.30. Although we rigorously practice the alarm drill during the academic day when students are on site - it has never occured to the 'powers that be' to instigate an drill post 'home time' and the result was that we couldn't be 100% certain who and where staff were.

    For peripatetic staff we have a signing in/out book. But for full time staff we have nothing. After realising that this had never been thought of, we implimented a simple in/out check sheet for staff as they arrive and depart. The problem with this, is that the sheet needs to be in one location and due to the nature of the school campus - there is no one point where EVERYBODY passes. As pathetic as it seems, there has been a fair amount of hassle that this has caused (which is odd as it in the interest of their safety).

    For example, main door isn't open until 7.30 - Head of Science gets in before this and goes staright to the science block. For the remainder of the day he is in a seperate building a fair destance from the main door. He stays until 5 for example, he is not going to walk all the way to main door to tick a box for staying what could be only a few more minutes to walk all the way back to where car is parked.

    Makes no sense really, if it is the interest of his life - you'd think people wouldn't mind walking a few hundred yards and checking a box - but that isn't the case.

    My idea is simple and non-obtrusive (and still has holes). The tag will only carry a unique identifier linked to a DB. There will only be two RFID readers, one on the entry driveway and one on the exit driveway (its a one way system). Member of staff drives in and swipes (or not depending on proximity distance of reader/tag) as they arrive and same when they leave. Small keyfob does the job, no number to type, no card to swipe.

    There is no case for invasion of privacy - the system will simply say the member of staff is on the premesis or off the premesis. It will not monitor location in the school, what he is eating, where they wee or what colout their pants are. A simple in or out.

    The bursar seems interested, not spoken to the head but this is just another option in the pot. One that is no hassle for ther staff as its that part that is causing the trouble.

    Ben

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    webman's Avatar
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    Re: Experience with RFID anybody?

    Even though it is a good idea, I think some staff will kick up a fuss, if only just for the hell of it, and possibly get their unions involved. Something along the lines of it may be used to track staff absences and when they should/shouldn't be there - essentially used against them.

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    Re: Experience with RFID anybody?

    I used to work somewhere where all the main doors where swipe-card-controlled, with the system monitoring who was in each building - in the event of fire alarms, the estates management team got a print-out of who was in the building. It was a "fun" introductory period as it wouldn't let you in one building unless you'd swiped out of the other, but people soon enough got used to it though. (This was a much higher security establishment than a school though).

    If you do it on the main entrance, as you suggest in post #2, consider whether it would pick up ALL occupants of the car, or just the driver, as staff might be sharing lifts.

    We have the same problem as you with part-time staff, peri's and after school however the view from SMT is that there is no viable solution and there should therefore be NO solution - it is better to acknowledge that you don't know who is on site than it is to have a system which incorrectly records this.

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    Re: Experience with RFID anybody?

    NEDAP Education could do you a system (we use promiximity cards for registration but they can also be used for access control, locker management, cashless payment and much more).

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    Ben_Stanton's Avatar
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    Re: Experience with RFID anybody?

    Quote Originally Posted by webman
    Even though it is a good idea, I think some staff will kick up a fuss, if only just for the hell of it, and possibly get their unions involved. Something along the lines of it may be used to track staff absences and when they should/shouldn't be there - essentially used against them.
    Surely if a member of staff is somewhere they shouldn't be at a time they shouldn't, then there is an even stronger case to have this system in place?!? If they are in the wrong - then surely we can use it against them?!? Absences are tracked - they are at any establishment surely? Typically a teacher rings in sick, if they do not, then the fact they don't turn up to teach would indicate this? But you're right - people will probably moan (until someone gets burnt to death).

    Ric_: Thanks, i'll check them out but would probably keep it in house unless prices is good.

    TO REITERATE, THIS WOULD ONLY BE USED TO MONITOR WHO IS ON SITE IN THE EVENT OF A FIRE

    NickJones: If you use gen2 tags you can avoid collision. Also, if you go for a close proximity sensor, it would mean wiping over the box with the fob much like 'using the force' and the passengers tagged can also be swiped!

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    webman's Avatar
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    Re: Experience with RFID anybody?

    Ben, yes, I know... but you know what some staff can be like

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    Ben_Stanton's Avatar
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    Re: Experience with RFID anybody?

    Quote Originally Posted by webman
    Ben, yes, I know... but you know what some staff can be like
    Tell me about it

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Experience with RFID anybody?

    I think it's not what you are doing with the data that'll cause a fuss it's the fact that you possess the information at all.

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    Re: Experience with RFID anybody?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben_Stanton
    TO REITERATE, THIS WOULD ONLY BE USED TO MONITOR WHO IS ON SITE IN THE EVENT OF A FIRE
    That's as may be, the fact of the matter is that you could do more with the information. Look at the vast majority of civil liberties / personal privacy objections - they are not about the act itself but what else could be done with that data if you so desired (not that you would, of course!).

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    Ben_Stanton's Avatar
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    Re: Experience with RFID anybody?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    I think it's not what you are doing with the data that'll cause a fuss it's the fact that you possess the information at all.

    Effectively, although it is not practicable - it would be no different to going out and looking at what cars are in the car park. For God sake, we wouldn't be keeping bank account numbers, recording phone conversations - we purely want to be able to tell the fire brigade with a high level of probablility that yes there are people in that burning building or no there are not. 'The information' (which would be their name) is not a secret is it? What your saying is a member of staff is going to object to his employer knowing he is at work?!?

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    Re: Experience with RFID anybody?

    I agree Data Protection isn't an issue here. However I think your standing atop a slippery slope.

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