Anyone who owns an animal will know, the importance of microchipping your pet is a message constantly drilled into your psyche by your Vet. They’ll tell you need to be able to find the little monster in case they get lost on their walk about town, or run away out of the back gate one Tuesday evening. However, as we continue to push through this digital age, it’s not only the vet’s ears that have pricked up at the ‘benefits’ of this type of technology. Employers are starting to catch on.
It was recently reported that a Wisconsin company has become the first US employer to fit willing staff members with microchips. Three Square Market, a leader in micro market technology, has fitted 41 of its 85 employees with tiny RFID technology chip devices. Yes, a company has actually microchipped not only a person, but an employee. Implanted between the thumb and forefinger, the rice-sized chip uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. Employees were voluntarily microchipped during a “chip party” at the company’s headquarters on the 1st of August, and can now use their hands to open doors around the building, log in to the computers and pay for items in the company canteen.
This sort of technology raised many alarms bells for me personally, mainly on the topic of security. Assuming that this technology is parallel to the type inserted into animals and does not yet have the capacity for GPS tracking. It begs the question, with technology moving at such a fast pace – could this ever become a possibility? And what happens when you decide to move on from a company, is a new HR procedure implemented that in your exit interview you get your chip removed? We haven’t even touched upon the massive issue of data security. Can your information be sold to third parties? Is it stored indefinitely? What about the increasing threat from hackers? I really hope these are questions being seriously considered by any business thinking of implementing this kind of tech, as well as the person being microchipped.
The company’s chief executive, Todd Westby said in a recent press release, “Eventually, this technology will become standardised allowing you to use this as your passport, public transit, all purchasing opportunities, etc.” Sure, I understand that the point of the chip is for convenience for employees and to innovate next level technology to enhance a ‘users’ everyday life. Biometric technology is experiencing a huge surge in popularity currently, with the likes of Mastercard launching selfie pay and TSB due to introduce iris recognition. However, the thought of something implanted into your body – instantly makes me think of that scene in ‘A Beautiful Mind’ where Russell Crowe’s character tries to remove a ‘microchip’ in his arm with only his bare hands.
For me personally, I’m going to stick to using a good old fashioned credit card to pay for my lunch (or even cash!) and I’ll still be using my quite useful hands to aid me in opening doors myself, until all my questions can be answered.
Microchipping isn’t for me, however I’d love to know your thoughts.
Do you see a Microchip in your future? Well, in your hand technically…