“StudentConnect plans to make money through advertising that will show up on parents’ smartphones along with text messages or email notifications of their children’s whereabouts.“
Using the RFID badges is not being sold at cost to parents, however, it is being given away for free. It will know when and where students get on and off the bus and notify the bus drivers if a student gets on the wrong bus or fails to get off the bus.
“StudentConnect can afford to provide the service at no charge“, Aladesuyi said, “because of its potential to deliver a market of grateful parents to advertisers who can send their message to a focused area“.
“The first thing [parents] see is Junior has been dropped off safely at home,” he said. “This safety message brought to you by Coca-Cola.”
The power to collect meta data and track individual children everywhere has raised privacy concerns among parents including who would have access to this information.
The system doesn’t compromise students’ privacy, Aladesuyi said, because they’re identified by a 13-digit number that’s meaningless until it’s matched with student information in a school database.