By Ryan Velez
Imagine a microchip put in your body. Though we already do it for dogs in some circumstances, the thought of applying this to humans puts too many dystopian thoughts in our head to consider. USA Today recently took a look at the developing technology to show potential applications, and whether or not you have something to fear.
To put the facts out there, some companies are already putting this into action. A Wisconsin firm, Three Square Market recently put microchips in their employees to ditch company badges and corporate logins, and religious activists have embarked on a social media crusade against it in response. Some people feel that it is inevitable, but not anytime soon, like Gene Munster, an investor and analyst at Loup Ventures.
“In 10 years, Facebook, Google, Apple and Tesla will not have their employees chipped,” he says. “You’ll see some extreme forward-looking tech people adopting it, but not large companies.” The idea of being chipped has too “much negative connotation” today, but by 2067 “we will have been desensitized by the social stigma,” he adds.
Potential uses for a chip could include going through airport scanners without needing to show your passport or driver’s license, open doors, start cars, and operate home automation systems. Rest easy, as this isn’t a GPS tracker, though people have reason to be concerned.
“If the tech is out there, what’s to stop an employer from saying either you do this, or you can’t work here anymore?” asks Bryan Allen, chief of staff for state Rep. Tina Davis (D), who is introducing a bill in Pennsylvania to outlaw mandatory chip embedding. Several workers’ rights advocates feel the same, but some feel this is simply part of the march of progress. Ten years ago, employees didn’t look at corporate e-mail over the weekend. Now they do, “whether we like it or not,” says Noelle Chesley, associate professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.