When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

13 February 2006

US group implants electronic tags in workers

From alert reader and sometime-blogger John deVille, this article from the Financial Times: US group implants electronic tags in workers.

An Ohio company has embedded silicon chips in two of its employees - the first known case in which US workers have been “tagged” electronically as a way of identifying them.


RFID chips – inexpensive radio transmitters that give off a unique identifying signal – have been implanted in pets or attached to goods so they can be tracked in transit.

“There are very serious privacy and civil liberty issues of having people permanently numbered,” said Liz McIntyre, who campaigns against the use of identification technology.

But Sean Darks, chief executive of CityWatcher, said the glass-encased chips were like identity cards. They are planted in the upper right arm of the recipient, and “read” by a device similar to a cardreader.

“There’s nothing pulsing or sending out a signal,” said Mr Darks, who has had a chip in his own arm. “It’s not a GPS chip. My wife can’t tell where I am.”

Financial Times - US group implants electronic tags in workers.

I have no cognitive difficulty with RFID tags being used to track inventory at Wal-Mart, or being slipped under the skin and into the ear-flaps of one of my pets to help identify them in case they ever wind up at Animal Control without their collars.

Putting them in human beings skeeves me out for reasons that I am currently finding it pretty difficult to articulate, but the point of pain is right at the intersection of my youthful sci-fi fascination and my neo-Fundamentalist Christian upbringing. It's all a bit too "Brave New World meets Mark of the Beast" for me to process this early in the morning.

Need more soma.

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