UK jails considering RFID tags

Written by Joe Martin

January 15, 2008 | 08:59

Tags: #brown #cell #court #jail #law #legal #prison #rfid #tag

Companies: #government #uk

Update 16/01/08:
We have just been contacted by a Ministry of Justice spokesperson who has claimed that this story is bogus. "There is no truth in this story - not only is this proposal impractical but there are health and other implications that make it not worth pursuing," he said.

The rest of the story has remained in its original form below.


Just because we're in 2008 now doesn't mean it can't also be 1984, you know. Or so the UK Government may think as they consider a proposal to introduce sub-dermal RFID tags for prisoners released onto the streets.

The proposal is one of a number of ways put forward by the government as a method of tackling the massively overcrowded prisons in the UK. The RFID tags would, in theory, be implanted under the skin of certain prisoners and would be a replacement for the ankle-tags currently used for some offenders. The idea would then be to monitor the location of the tagged inmates using satellite and radio technology according to The Independent.

As always there are certain groups opposing the tagging method.

"If the Home Office doesn't understand why implanting a chip in someone is worse than an ankle bracelet, they don't need a human-rights lawyer; they need a common-sense bypass," said Shami Chakrabarti, director of human rights group Liberty.

The Ministry of Justice however is more keen on the idea and has said this is one method of inmate control they would very much like to pursue.

How do you feel about RFID tagging? Is it feasible and acceptable, or are we just a year or two away from everybody being monitored and tracked with tags? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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