For those of you that may be unaware, the microchip “agenda” has been debated for years now, with people taking on both sides of the dilemma whether to insert a microchip implant into their body or not. With the whole story slowly graduating from talk to actions over the past several years, many feared that the implementation of this practice would be forced on citizens through their respective governments. Although it hasn’t happened (yet), the chipping of people has entered reality through a far smoother channel: by the free will of people themselves.
Microchipping was shown on TV in USA in 2007
The subject was introduced to the public more than a decade ago, and many were dubbing it the technology of the future, something that is sure to be omnipresent in the years to come. If livestock and pets already have these things in them, why not reap the benefits by using it on humans as well? Presenting it as such, there truly are some undeniable benefits to these microchips, otherwise known as RFIDs (radio-frequency identification), that have people of today insert them into their hands and use them on a daily basis. Although their initial purpose was mainly advertised to be within the health department, 2017 is seeing microchips used mostly in business and personal identification.
Setting a prime example and possibly a milestone in this practice, certain companies as well as individuals are marketing microchips as “convenient,” to say the least, using them daily both in their business and personal lives. The Swedish Epicenter introduced its workers with the option to implant a microchip into their hands in 2015, making headlines ever since. Exposing the merits, company employees, including the co-founder Patrick Mesterton, explain just how easy it becomes to control software-based devices that are aligned with the chip; from opening doors to unlocking cell phones and cars, it replaces several instruments that you would normally have to use during the day. Not only that, but it allows for any individual to become the single valid “key” to unlocking a specific device, and since microchips cannot really be stolen, the chips make for a great security factor to any lock out there. Naturally, others followed Epicenter’s example.
“It basically replaces a lot of things you have, other communication devices, whether it be credit cards or keys,” said Epicenter’s co-founder and chief executive Patrick Mesterton.
NewFusion, a marketing company from Belgium, is one of the latest joiners to the chipping practice, giving their employees the option of inserting the chip in between their thumb and index finger. This is all, of course, not mandatory, and those that have performed the chipping have done so of their own free will. Moreover, they’ve given their opinion on the biggest concern regarding RFIDs: the question of privacy. The main reason why anyone might not want to chip themselves is that very concern, one that they share even with the RFID newcomers. If this technology has already been used to track down and identify pets and livestock, why wouldn’t those with such power use it for the same purposes with humans?
Hannes Sjöblad, the chief disruption officer at a biohacking firm that implants the microchips warns that security risks do exist, but it’s up to people themselves to stay informed and defend against possible threats by not putting unnecessary data on the device. Apparently, it’s rather easy to hack into it at this stage, and though there’s not much to be stolen at the moment, his advice will likely withstand the test of time. Needless to say, Sjöblad was one of the first in line to use the technology, showing that he has great faith in its potential and that he believes in a future where microchips are widespread.
“The next step for electronics is to move into the body,” saYs Jowan Osterlund from Biohax.
We can only assume that this array of possibilities will only expand over time. However, the question still stands: is it all worth the price paid? The RFID chips are implanted with no “expiry date,” left in your hand without you being able to shut it down or leave it aside. It would persist within you permanently, essentially becoming a part of your body, and that’s the least of your problems. Even if the technology was to advance immensely, it would still be susceptible to intrusion just like any other device or program. Since the device is made to “merge” all the different keys and personal information that identify a single person, it would be all that much devastating if access to the chip was to be gained by a third party. Furthermore, the device could easily be used for tracking individuals, and the reason behind that decision could fall in a morally gray area. Who is to say those with authority wouldn’t use the opportunity to track people out of personal interests, or other unjustly reasons?
While tech enthusiasts are “jumping on the microchip train” and are even implanting the devices themselves using kits bought for about $100, there are those that are fighting for this practice to never see light of day. Several US states have already passed laws against involuntary implementation of chips inside human beings (including Nevada, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, California and North Dakota), and many are not just voicing their objections, but are questioning possible ulterior motives behind the chipping of humans. There really are people on both sides of the spectrum, seeing microchips in humans either as the future today or the great plunge towards the dark side of humanity. As we discuss the merits and threats of this new technology, time will tell who was right.