posted on Jan, 30 2005 @ 01:08 AM
Unfortunately, there is a lot of hysterical misinformation being spread about this and similar technologies.
Here's just one example from this thread:
"GPS microchips are implanted"
Simply not true.
GPS = Global Positioning System, a system of transmit-only satellites that provide navigation signals.
There would be no reason to implant "GPS microchips". OK, maybe if you want to always know where you are, and are prone to lose things like
It's also just plain not possible at this point in time.
You can determine your location on earth by receiving signals from multiple GPS satelites, and doing some fairly intense calculations on the data
received. The GPS system is incapable of "tracking" anybody, and the satelites only send signals - they don't receive a return signal from GPS
The receivers have historically been relatively costly, though cost is coming down. The cheapest current receivers are those embedded in current
cell-phones that use "aGPS" technology. aGPS = "assisted GPS". For cost reasons, the receiver is very minimal, and there is insufficient computing
power in the cell phone to compute your position. The system works cooperatively with full GPS receivers and computing facilities located at cell
phone towers. The purpose of these receivers is to determine your location when you call 911, and to provide optional location-based services. (How do
I get from where I am to somewhere else?)
All current aGPS-equipped cell phones give the user the option to turn off the GPS function - typically, "off", "911 only" or "on". (i.e. the
latter allows you to use location-based services.)
Anyway, an implanted "GPS microchip" used for tracking would have to implement a full GPS receiver or else use a system like aGPS, and then would
have to send tracking data "somewhere". The most obvious and practical "somewhere" would be a cell phone network.
So, basically, this requires shrinking a cell phone to fit into an implantable device.
Not currently possible, though I don't doubt that it will some day be possible.
As a way of tracking people who don't want to be tracked, it shares the same flaw with RFID tags - it is incredibly easy to defeat with a bit of
inexpensive shielding. (i.e. "high-tech nanotechnology" manufactured by Aloca, Reynolds, etc. and available in every supermarket.)
I do wish that our government would give-up on using RFID tags for tracking vehicles and people through borders, though. While this is somewhat more
convenient that bar-codes (you don't have to aim a wand at the bar code), but it isn't worth the hysterics that people are going to work themselves
I also wish the authors of these alarmist articles would take the time to do some research and point-out that the intended use of these devices is
simply to speed-up the process of border crossing. The readers would be located at the border crossing, and would look similar to a metal detector,
etc. i.e. a portal that you walk through. It's just a convenience so that you need only walk through and a record is automatically made of who you
are and that you just entered or left the country. This could really free-up border agents to do something meaningful instead of wasting time
verifying ID. With the RFID and biometrics (i.e. fingerprint readers) the whole process can be largely automated, with the agents freed-up to deal
with exceptions and problems.
BTW, many of you already have RFID tags on your vehicles. Did you know that? If you have a pass for a high-occupancy freeway lane, for a toll road or
bridge, etc. - they use RFID tags for this.
Again, though, this is much-ado about nothing, as your car has to pass within a few feed of a reader. (Located at the toll booth.) It just wouldn't
be practical to install the "billions and billions" of readers needed to track people in any arbitrary location.
[edit on 30-1-2005 by Bay_Watcher]