Human Microchipping: Concerns and Issues

Implanting a microchip under the skin is one of the newest trends regarding the most modern payment methods and identity authentication in general. Through this technology, a tiny chip is implanted under the skin that can be used for payments and several other things such as unlocking doors and storing emergency information. The chips are the size of a sand grain with bio-agreeable coating substances to prevent the body from degrading it as they are under the skin.

The exciting fact about these chips is that the technology that they run on is already used in vendor portals and POS terminals globally: radio frequency identification (RFID) and Near Field Communication (NFC). This is the same technology that enables us to use Apple Pay and similar payment methods. This fact makes this technology incredibly practical and cost-effective.

Benefits and the costs aside, what are the concerns of human microchipping? Are we ready for such technology? First, let’s review some numbers to see how deep the technology has gone.

Human Microchipping in Numbers

It takes $150 to have a microchip the size of a rice grain, surgically implanted between your thumb and index finger.

Today, statistics show that over 50,000 people worldwide have been selected for human microchipping. The technology is especially more popular in Sweden. Over 4,000 Swedes have replaced their keycards for microchips implanted in their hands. They use it to access the gym, purchase e-tickets on railway travel, save emergency information, and even social media profiles.

The Concerns of Human Microchipping

For the first time, it was in 2017 that a vending machine company offered free microchip implants. This alarmed some lawmakers that the technology needs further investigations. Here are some of the more widespread concerns that the technology is dealing with:

Microchip Conspiracy Theory

There were rumors that the coronavirus pandemic is actually a plan by Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, to spread a vaccination program, trying to implant trackable microchips in people. The story, though being unfounded, was posted by 44,000 users on Facebook.

Although the claims were all based on no facts or good thinking, the conspiracy theory reduced the public acceptance of human microchipping. Shortly thereafter, several companies and organizations such as BBC debunked those claims.

Security Concerns

One of the biggest security concerns with the NFC technology used in microchips is that it can allow others eavesdrop on device communication, corrupt data, or wage interception attacks. Interception attacks occur when a hacker intercepts the data passing between two NFC devices and then manipulates the data.

Yes, like other chips, human microchips have security vulnerabilities and can be hacked, even if it is implanted under the skin. Apart from that, these chips can also reveal a bunch of personal data, including data about your whereabouts, your health, where you work, how long you are at work, and anything else.

Religious Concerns

There have been religious objections against hand-scanners and other biometric technologies too.

As an example, in 2013 a coal miner sued against his employer for using a biometric hand-scanner to clock in and out at work. He feared that using that scanner would lead to his identification with the Antichrist. The interesting point is that the district court ruled in favor of the coal miner.

Mandatory Implants

In the United States, though being gradually embraced, forced microchipping is being banned by some lawmakers. Currently, 11 states in the U.S. have banned mandatory human microchips.

For example, California rules have made it illegal for anyone including employers to require, coerce, or compel any other individual to undergo implanting an identification device. Among several other states that have set similar rules are Maryland, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Utah.

Health Concerns

Each of us owns several cards including credit cards, ID cards, public transport cards, and so on. Then, we would likely need to implant more than one microchip. This may become heavily problematic, as these chips usually do not remain in their position. Sometimes, they migrate somewhere else under the skin, making it hard to find them. It may become hazardous in case of a medical emergency.

What is more, some chips may pose electrical threats, infections, and incompatibility with medical equipment such as MRI machines. Also, these chips may have the issue of electrosurgical and electromagnetic interference with devices and defibrillators.

Big Brother is Watching You

We need to ask ourselves who benefits from human microchips the most. It would make it the easiest for the Big Brother to constantly track where you go, what you do, how you do it, and whom you do it with.

This information can be massively worthwhile for large organizations and governments. This may enable the police, governments, and security companies to electronically find you via chip readers deployed in public areas. Where do your freedom and privacy go then?

Other Concerns?

Despite many advantages human microchipping comes with, the downsides are too big to neglect. There might be many undetected concerns as well, and no one knows what technology will bring for us in the future.

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Enthusiast, with Futuristic Mindset and Experienced in Online Marketing, Consulting, Real Estate, Online Entrepreneurship and many more.

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Nadav Gover

Nadav Gover

Enthusiast, with Futuristic Mindset and Experienced in Online Marketing, Consulting, Real Estate, Online Entrepreneurship and many more.

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