Feeds

Security bracelet foils child abduction

RFIDs tags put to good use

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The next step in data security

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
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
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
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
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.