April 23, 2008
Blogs from ZDNet reports the RFID-chip makers VeriChip is planning to push the implantable spy-chips directly to the South-Florida public in a campaign blitz targeting seniors beginning April 28. VeriChip’s idea is to link the chip to the person’s medical records. Larry Dignan believes this to be a good idea, allowing patients easier access to their personal medical records. On the other hand, Dana Blankenhorn expresses the usual concerns about their use, especially with seniors without Alzheimer’s:
* How much memory on this chip? Enough to get my full health record on it? How about my allergies and basic condition?
* How difficult is it to write to the chip? What about its security?
* How common will readers be?
* Who controls what gets written on the chip? Can it be hacked? Conversely, can it be accessed when needed?
* Can the chip be cloned? (Clone me, Doctor Memory!)
Larry asks some other good questions, although there are some long-running controversies he doesn’t address:
1. Is this really the mark of the beast?
2. Could the government use it to track and trap us?
3. What if the chip insertion site gets infected? What if the chip moves?
4. Could the VeriChip cause cancer?
5. Is this just a scam by former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson?
There’s a sucker born every minute. VeriChip is counting on that during their ad-blitz where convenience can override paranoia about the chips (particularly the cancer risk). And if that blitz succeeds? From Blankenhorn:
If the present marketing effort succeeds the company is bound to push for chipping everyone, given the chance of violence or accidents in our society.
Instant surveillance grid, with everyone under the microscope.
Current chips are nothing more than a number that needs to be tied to your personal records in some corp-government database. The next chips may have memory, possibly recording devices, to store your (deviant) thoughts for use against you, as a way to resurrect or clone you if you die (Altered Carbon reference), or for someone to make a Final Cut of your life.
Right now, the jury is out to see if the campaign can con enough geezers into getting implanted. Hopefully not.