Bill would restrict human microchips

Posted on Tue, Jan. 25, 2005

Bill would restrict human microchips


Associated Press

PIERRE, S.D. - Legislation introduced Tuesday in the South Dakota House would make it illegal to require people to accept implanted microchips that can be used to identify them.

Rep. Tom Hackl, R-Hoven, is the prime sponsor of HB1114. The bill would restrict the use of radio frequency identification technology in humans.

The microchips, which are the size of rice grains, are being widely used to track business inventories and supplies. They also are being used to track livestock and even let pet owners identify runaway animals.

Radio frequency technology is being used in a limited basis in humans, too. At least 160 people who work for the Mexican attorney general had the chips implanted in their arms last year to gain access to secure areas of the office.

People also have had the chips implanted to relay their medical information to hospital workers in cases of emergency. Scanning devices can download a chip's serial number, which is then used to access a person's health records.

The chips cannot be easily removed because they are housed in glass capsules that are designed to break if tampered with.

"Do we want to put something so permanent into a person?" asked Hackl. "I think it would be an acute case of privacy down the road."

While HB1114 would bar someone from requiring a radio frequency chip to be implanted in another person, the measure contains no penalty.

The legislation was assigned to the House State Affairs Committee but is not yet scheduled for a hearing.

Informant: Mark Marks


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