posted on Apr, 8 2003 @ 01:26 PM
Eight people will become the first ever to receive computer chip implants, allowing them to be identified by a scanner. The chips, called VeriChip,
are rice-grain-sized devices that sit under the skin. When scanned by a special reader, the chip emits a radio signal that will transmit a code, which
is linked to a secured database. The database, dubbed the Global VeriChip Subscriber (GVS) Registry, holds personal data such as the "chipees"
address, phone number and any special medical conditions.
For airports, nuclear power plants and other high security facilities, the immediate benefits could be a closer-to-foolproof security system. But
privacy advocates warn the chip could lead to encroachments on civil liberties.
The implant technology is another case of science fiction evolving into fact. Those who have long advanced the idea of implant chips say it could
someday mean no more easy-to-counterfeit ID cards, nor dozing security guards. Just a computer chip about the size of a grain of rice - that would be
difficult to remove and tough to mimic.
Other uses of the technology on the horizon, from an added device that would allow satellite tracking of an individual's every movement to the
storage of sensitive data like medical records, are already attracting interest across the globe for tasks like foiling kidnappings or assisting
paramedics. Applied Digital Solutions' new "VeriChip" is another sign that Sept. 11 has catapulted the science of security into a realm with
uncharted possibilities - and also new fears for privacy.
"The problem is that you always have to think about what the device will be used for tomorrow," said Lee Tien, a senior attorney for the Electronic
Frontier Foundation, a privacy advocacy group. "It's what we call function creep. At first a device is used for applications we all agree are good
but then it slowly is used for more than it was intended," he said.
More information links below:
Chip-Based ID: Promise and Peril
ABC News Report
USA Today Report
Chip Implants Already Here
Computer Chip Implants
Global human database
Security may soon get under your skin