Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Some People Are Too Enthusiastic About Technology, Get Themselves "Chipped"

Dude with a microchip to e implanted in humans, for
convenience, I guess. But what about privacy?
One of the better inventions that's been around for awhile is those little microchips we had implanted in our dogs Jackson and Tonks.

If they get lost, and somebody finds them and brings them to a vet or an animal shelter, they'll get scanned, and they'll figure out where they live.

It's peace of mind.

It would be super easy to translate that technology into humans, since it's basically the same, painless and safe from a health standpoint.

But would you really want to give somebody else the ability to track you.

A surprising number of people are saying Yes.

As the Associated Press reported, employees at a Swedish startup called Epicenter are voluntarihly being "chipped."

Microchips the size of grains of rice are being injected into their hands, and they function as swipe cards, can open doors, operate printers and buy smoothies at the wave of a hand, reports the Associated Press.

Sounds convenient!

But I'd rather just hand over cash for a smoothie than do that.

I'll let the Associated Press explain why: "......As with most new technologies, it raises security and privacy issues. While biologically safe, the data generated by the chips can show how often an employee comes to work or what they buy. Unlike compay swipe cards or smartphones, which can generate the same data, a person cannot easily separate themselves from the chip."

What if we get to a point where employers require you to be chipped. It's appropriate obviously, for your supervisors to monitor you and your job performance at work, but this would enable them to watch your every move when you're off the clock, too.

And what if the chips are hacked?   What would hackers do with this information? There's a lot there. They'd know when you're at work, when you're not home, and pretty much what you're doing and how you're doing it pretty much all the time.

Still, some people are enthusiastic about being microchipped, so maybe I'm missing something. But I doubt it.

At Epicenter, the business the Associated Press highlighted, some employees are enthusiastic. One, Fredric Kaijser, who has one of those weird tech job titles - chief experience officer - is blithe about his microchip and privacy.

He said people who learn that he has a microchip "get all excited about privacy issues and what that means and so forth. And for me it's just a matter of I like to try new things an just see it as more of an enabler and what that would bring into the future."

I guess newness trumps everything else.

I think I'll wait and take a pass for now on this Great New Thing.

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