Dogs were chipped first, and now human beings?
Apparently, RFID microchips (or Radio-frequency identification) being implanted in humans are not part of science fiction fodder after all. Reportedly, a United States business announced a milestone to an uproar of protests and privacy speculation over “Big Brother” entering the human ecosystem.
Privacy advocates are up in arms over the latest news about a Wisconsin company’s plan to surgically implant microchips inside employees’ bodies, this according to an ABC News report. If you’re thinking about the films, Manchurian Candidate, Final Cut or Johnny Mnemonic, you’re not alone. Several readers have expressed comparisons to these science fiction films that involve RFID microchips, cyborgs, memory implants and the like.
Three Square Market is the company at the center of a brewing controversy over its radical plans to embed RFID chips into several dozen workers at its Wisconsin facility. It creates software for break rooms, chiefly related to office complexes. If the implant procedures are successful, it will mark the first time an American company deployed microchip technology inside employees.
Todd Westby is the company’s CEO. He is excited about the microchip initiative and believes it’s not a matter of “if,” but “when” the technology becomes commonplace.
Dennis Michael Lynch is an “award-winning entrepreneur, public speaker, acclaimed filmmaker, conservative TV commentator, and host of webcast THE DML DAILY REPORT,” according to his website. He weighed in on the news about microchip implants. To him, the news is daunting.
“I thought I was shocked when I heard the news that some companies were allowing guys to use the women’s bathroom, but this story about microchips inserted into the bodies of employees has me spinning.”
Westby compares microchips in a person’s hand to smartphones used at the point of sale (checking out at a register). Just as a person uses a payment application (or app) like Apple Pay, they can use an RFID implanted microchip in a similar fashion. He demonstrated the technology recently in a break room.
“We’ll come up, scan the item. We’ll hit pay with a credit card, and it’s asking to swipe my proximity payment now. I’ll hold my hand up, just like my cell phone, and it’ll pay for my product.”
The implanted microchips are relatively small — about the same size as a grain of rice. Once the chips are implanted, employees will not only be able to buy items from market kiosks, but they can perform other tasks like logging into a computer device and gaining access through secure doors.
West said each implanted microchip costs $300 and the company bears the costs. However, there is no mention of how the process of implantation is performed.
The CEO countered concerns over privacy issues and safety. He said all data is encrypted and secure.
“There’s no GPS tracking at all,” he said.
It’s important to mention that all employees can opt out; implanting of microchips is voluntary. Still, some privacy skeptics believe the threats of GPS tracking are real, due to hackers potentially finding a weakness in the microchip system.
Lynch drove home his feelings about the company’s revolutionary plans to implant microchips in workers. He expressed in no uncertain terms how he pushes back on the program.
“But here’s the craziest thing, there are 50 people who have agreed to the program. And so I say, ‘the world has lost its mind, and its privacy.’”
Do you support the Wisconsin company’s plans to implant microchips in its workers’ hands? Would you volunteer to have an RFID chip embedded in your body?
[Featured Image by andriano.cz/Shutterstock]