Branded like cattle
“The tiny chips, implanted in the flesh between the thumb and forefinger, are similar to those for pets. They enable people to open their front door, access their office or start their car with a wave of their hand, and can also store medical data.”
Apparently, big legal and financial firms are attracted to the idea because it’s better than relying on security passes to make sure only authorised personnel enter areas containing sensitive data.
Alternative take: it’s like a form of white-collar cattle branding.
Any programme that introduced these chips into widespread use at a company would likely be optional. But things that are optional can quickly become preferable. “Want to access the 12th floor? You’ll need to be chipped first.” It’s easy to imagine people volunteering to be chipped in order to make sure they can stay ahead in their careers.
And as that practice spreads, maybe the idea of microchips being required to receive benefits payments from the government comes in. After all, it works so well for businesses.
And then it could become oh so more convenient to be chipped than not. The report says a Swedish firm called (perhaps alarmingly) Biohax, “is working with the state-owned Swedish rail firm Statens Järnvägar, to allow its passengers to travel via chip implants rather than train tickets.”
Who knows, maybe we’ll all take to these chips and look back in 30 years and wonder why people were so scared of them. But we should be seriously wary of anything that potentially limits our freedom and privacy. These chips could track us and restrict us in ways we won’t know or understand.
I don’t think we’re quite ready to be ‘bionic’ in that way quite yet.