A Wisconsin company recently made headlines with its decision to start putting a microchip into its employee’s hands. It even claimed that over 50 of its 85 employees were immediately electing to have their body’s chipped to have the convenience, and perhaps Harry Potter-esque capabilities, of opening doors and paying for snacks with the flick of a wrist.
While it sounds like convenience could be the primary driver of something like putting a microchip into employees, you have to wonder what the life of the chip would allow employers – or others – to see.
The issue of digital privacy has been plaguing users since the beginning of the internet. To then implant a device into their bodies that can store and potentially track information steps into the realm of invasion. Of course, a company like Wisconsin-based Three Square Market claims that the chips are secure, encrypted, and will not track anything; they’re simply made to store information.
Three Square Market and others are predicting that the same sort of technology could be used in the majority of major companies in the next few years. But, the general public has been having mixed reactions to the news. Some compare the technology to putting in a pacemaker to control your heart; others talk about ethical dilemmas and the chip’s eventual ability to monitor health, whereabouts, and how your time is being spent while at work.
If this kind of technology has already made its way into the workplace, who’s to say that schools or other organizations might not soon be adopting it as well? Imagine kids lining up at the beginning of the school year to be branded by their district. College freshman paying for meals and opening dorms with the wave of a hand. Parents potentially being able to track where their kids are at all times because of an implanted chip.
Would you voluntarily allow yourself to be chipped and tracked?