Feeds

Security bracelet foils child abduction

RFIDs tags put to good use

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

A father's attempts to abduct his infant son from a North Carolina hospital last week were foiled by an electronic bracelet around the baby's ankle. Walter Mitchell was apprehended by hospital security guards outside Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte after his flight with his newborn son in a cloth bag triggered a "code pink" alert.

The alert prompted hospital staff to guard exits of the hospital. Although Mitchell made it from the hospital's seventh-floor nursery onto the street via an emergency exit he was quickly apprehended by guards. The baby was returned unharmed to Presbyterian Hospital, where it was attending a check-up.

The baby was already under the care of social services after his parents, Mitchell and Juanita Slade, were charged with child abuse and neglect charges involving the alleged mistreatment of their other kids. Mitchell told police he snatched his newborn because he didn't want to surrender the custody of another child to social services, WSOC-TV reports. Both Mitchell and Slade have been remanded in custody following the alleged abduction last Friday (15 July).

Presbyterian Hospital installed the "Hugs" Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) infant protection system when it opened its new maternity center last September. The "Hugs" Infant Protection System, part of the June 2005 acquisition of Instantel by VeriChip, which is best known for its controversial people chipping technology, contains a tiny radio transmitter designed to prevent infants from being removed from a health care facility without authorisation. Every infant wears a Hugs tag on the ankle or wrist, and exit points throughout the hospital are electronically monitored to detect unauthorised removal of an infant. The use of electronic bracelets to protect kids in maternity wards is commonplace in the US. RFID-tags represent a refinement of the technique.

According to VeriChip, there have been 233 infant abductions in the US over the last 22 years. Half of these abductions occurred from health care facilities. VeriChip's RFID infant protection systems are designed to combat not only infant abductions, but also accidental infant mismatchings. The firm says its systems are installed in approximately 900 US hospitals. ®

Related stories

Feds approve human RFID implants
Kidnap-wary Mexicans get chipped
Anti-RFID outfit deflates Mexican VeriChip hype
Cap Cyborg to chip 11 year old in wake of UK child killings
Kev Warwick cyberkiddie no closer to activation
First people injected with ID chips, sales drive kicks off

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.