Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Tracking Devices for the Disabled

Friday, December 9, 2016

Tracking Devices for the Disabled

When support for an odd bill pops up in my Facebook feed, I typically just assume it's feel-good legislation. It probably costs more than it should, but local Congress person gets a pat on the back, some deserving soul gets credit for doing something cool, and we all move on down the road. 

Today's latest feel-good legislation: Kevin and Avonte's Law. The law, passed by the U.S. House, would establish a federal program to chip and track individuals with autism and developmental disabilities. The Department of Justice would be responsible for maintaining the database and tracking these individuals 24 hours per day, seven days per week. I am gasping that this passed with so little concern from privacy advocates.

Let's set aside that private solutions exist already to track individuals without getting the cruel and often inefficient hand of government involved. 

For now, the program is completely voluntary, but that doesn't mean it always will be. And there are other concerns: Who gives consent for these chips and tracking devices? "Developmental disabilities" isn't a cut-and-dried term. It must be interpreted. Who decides?

Once the door is open to tracking people, it will never be closed. In the future, it isn't only the disabled or elderly who may be tracked. Proponents of the bill, which is being hailed by the autism support community, say it's a critical piece of safety legislation. It's stunning to me that caregivers are so willing to give to government the ability and authority to track their children, especially knowing that one day, the caregivers themselves may not be there to advocate on their behalf. I don't know their struggles, and I am not faulting them. However, it appears this legislation and its future implications weren't clearly thought through, and that's disappointing.

This bill is a horror. 

This thing easily passed the House with bipartisan support, 346-66, in a suspension of the rules vote. Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins and Congressman Kevin Yoder voted in support of it. Congressman Tim Huelskamp voted against it, and Congressman Mike Pompeo didn't not vote. 

No comments:

Post a Comment