At one time there were rumors that President Obama’s health reforms required that all Americans be microchipped to store personal data. I presume this also meant medical data. I am not sure. There were protests, understandably.
We have barely got into the habit of microchipping domestic cats yet today we are seriously discussing microchipping people. The cat microchip is about the size of large grain of rice and it is injected into the scruff of the cat’s neck to identify the cat. The human microchip is the size of a grain of sand to something larger like the cat microchip and it is injected into the hand or arm. Its size depends on how efficient it needs to be. They are called radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips.
They allow employees to, get through security gates at work, open doors, start up photocopiers and be identified just like a cat. You’d never forget your pass again unless the chip moved and made its way into the bloodstream! The larger ones can start a photocopier at two yards away while with the smaller microchip the employee has to place his hand on the relevant part of the machine to get it going.
The human microchip is currently in a few businesses. Within these businesses the employees have a choice whether to be microchipped or not. This is because the human is not yet psychologically ready to be microchipped like her cat companion. But why not? It is an emotional barrier. The human is being branded and dehumanized when microchipped. This is what I expect one of the objections to be.
Workers in a Swedish office block (Epicenter in Stockholm) have been implanted with microchips. Eventually, 700 employees may be microchipped. Perhaps the Swedish are more amenable to being microchipped.
Once humans have lost their arrogance and see the functionality they may accept them more readily. Security at passport control would be a doodle only it wouldn’t work unless they were made 100% tamper-proof (unlikely).
Some people believe humankind is going the way of Big Brother (George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four). We are all being overseen, watched and programmed to behave in a certain way without realising it.
Microchipping people is a further step in the direction of turning us into cyborgs at the beck-and-call of government agencies. That’s the way it might seem to the skeptical. In the meantime I see the practical aspects. I guess the human microchip could even do away with the dreaded keys to you car and house. How many times have you lost those? Never again with the electronic ‘keys’ under the skin of you hand.
There are concerns about health aspects. For example, adverse tissue reaction and the microchip moving. Funny that because we accept those health risks on behalf of our cat.
The American technology company MC10 is developing a ‘BioStamp’ which is a flexible, wearable activity monitor imprinted on the skin. It looks like a tattoo. It collects health information from its wearer.