I’ve given presentations on technology trends for a good number of years, and the reactions to most trends generally run the gamut from “Hey, that’s cool!” to “Ok, well, maybe that will impact me, but I doubt it.” But, in 2017, when I would start explaining how Wisconsin-based tech company Three Square Market implanted microchips in 100 employees (the employees volunteered), it was always easy to read the room: attendees would typically get visibly antsy or even upset. The chips allowed for fairly innocuous actions, such as opening doors or getting snacks from vending machines. However, the whole idea of implanting a device directly into a human freaked many out…especially because we, as library folks, consider privacy a large facet of what we do.
So, if you weren’t already nervous, the recent news about the uptick in microchip biohacking probably will make sure you are. Or, maybe you’re finally thinking about how you could never lose your ID or keys again.
- Swedish cyborg craze sees more than 4,000 Swedes insert chips under their skin [The Independent] “Biohax, one of the companies involved in implanting the chips, said it has now carried out more than 4,000 “installs” of the technology since it launched five years ago, allowing people to replace physical key cards, IDs and train tickets.”
- How I Lost and Regained Control of My Microchip Implant [Motherboard] “If I had a single piece of advice for anyone thinking about getting an NFC chip implant it would be to do it sober…you won’t wake up the next morning with a splitting headache and absolutely no idea how to unlock your hand.”
- More companies are chipping their workers like pets [Engadget] ” The Telegraph tells us about ‘a number of UK legal and financial firms’ are in talks with a chip company to implant their employees with RFID microchips for security purposes.”
- Is it ever OK to microchip your employees? [People Management] “For many, microchips are an intrusion too far and open the door to dubious forms of monitoring employees’ movements and communications. But for the companies that offer them, it is a question of convenience.”
From the Ohio Web Library:
- Chipping Away at Privacy? (Zalud, B. (2007). Chipping Away at Privacy? Security: Solutions for Enterprise Security Leaders, 44(9), 18–24.)
- Invasion of the Body Hackers (Nicola, S. (2018). Invasion of The Body Hackers. Bloomberg Businessweek, (4589), 22–23.)
- I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Krummert, B. (2004). I’ve Got You Under My Skin. Restaurant Hospitality, 88(9), 19.)