27
Aug
2004

Implanted chips raise privacy worries

The overriding idea behind tagging people with chips — whether through implants or wearable devices such as bracelets — is to improve identification and, consequently, tighten access to restricted information or physical areas. But on top of civil liberties and other policy issues, such technologies face visceral objections from many people who frown on the idea of being implanted with tags that can track them like migrating tuna. Complaints have led several companies to abandon plans to use RFID technologies in products, much less in human bodies. The concept of implanting chips for tracking purposes was introduced to the general public more than a decade ago, when pet owners began using them to keep tabs on dogs and cats.

The notion of embedding RFID tags in the human body, though, remained largely theoretical until the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, when a technology executive saw firefighters writing their badge numbers on their arms so that they could be identified in case they became disfigured or trapped.

Richard Seelig, vice-president of medical applications at security specialist Applied Digital Solutions, inserted a tracking tag in his own arm and told the company's CEO that it worked. A new product, the VeriChip, was born.

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Source:
Aftermath News
Top Stories - August 26th, 2004
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