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The radio-frequency-identification (RFID) technology has been around for many years. It is a tag, label or card that can exchange data with a reader using radio frequency (RF) signals.The RFID chip is very similar to a barcode label as it usually works with a scanner or reader as well. The microchips used for human implants are about the size of a grain of rice. A special device inserts the chip into the fleshy area between a person’s thumb and first finger. Once the microchip is inside the body, an individual can wave his or her hand in front of a reader and unlock or transact with compatible systems as desired. The implantable devices rely on near-field communication (NFC), which means a reader must be located nearby. Implantable chips have some utility and they can provide some convenience, but the question is whether such an invasive technology is desirable. Although proponents of the technology argue it improves today’s authentication and security schemes, critics have expressed serious concerns.
In 1998 the first-ever human to receive an RFID microchip implant was British scientist Kevin Warwick. This experiment allowed a computer to monitor Warwick as he moved through halls and offices of the Department of Cybernetics at the University of Reading, using a unique identifying signal emitted by the implanted chip. He could operate doors, lights, heaters and other computers without lifting a finger.
Easier Identification – microchip allows us to use technology for payments, trips and travels. We have everything in place, there is no possibility of loss, theft or mistake.
Acces Control– Providing the chip confirms our identity and membership, for example at the gym. Often, having a chip comes with privileges such as skipping the line.
Easily acccesible medical history– Gathering medical information in one place can be very beneficial in case of an emergency.
Keeping tabs on patients, children and criminals– this type of information can be very useful in case of disappearances, kidnappings or escapes.
Automatic control of your devices– introduction of the chip allows for technological improvements, for example automatic switching on the TV, automatic door opening or temperature change.
Your weapon can only be used by you – because more and more people decide to buy weapons, the chip allows it to be used only by the owner in a safe way.
RFID chips may pose a threat to our health – we need to remember that a chip is a piece of metal that is inserted into our body. Apart from the fact that it can move in an uncontrolled way, it can cause infections, allergies, and even serious diseases such as cancer.
Microchips may take away our freedom of choice- control over where and when we are and what we do will make us start living like a robot, there is no room for errors and emotions.
Chips may make us prime targets for people with bad intentions – just like in real life a thief breaking into our house could now be able to hack the chip, obtaining a lot of data about us, which can be more dangerous.
We need to think about who really benefits from human microchipping – the chip gives great power over us to the government, large corporations, police, etc.
Chips are already present in our lives. They are used to track animals, people with different diseases and products in inventory. Undoubtedly, the world of technology is developing very quickly, but let’s ask ourselves if we want to give up our freedom, our ability to make mistakes and privacy in exchange for faster service, easier use of devices or limiting contact with other people. In order to maintain freedom, we must be able to choose whether we want such a chip implanted in our hand or not.