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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Human-Electronic Hybrid Workers

I know my president will support me in this call to rid the earth of mutant human-electronic hybrids:

US group implants electronic tags in workers, by Richard Waters, Financial Times: An Ohio company has embedded silicon chips in two of its employees - the first known case in which US workers have been “tagged” electronically as a way of identifying them. CityWatcher.com, ... said it was testing the technology as a way of controlling access to a room where it holds security video footage for government agencies and the police. ... “There are very serious privacy and civil liberty issues of having people permanently numbered,” said Liz McIntyre, who campaigns against the use of identification technology. ... The technology’s defenders say it is acceptable as long as it is not compulsory. But critics say any implanted device could be used to track the “wearer” without their knowledge. VeriChip  ... said the implants were designed primarily for medical purposes. So far around 70 people in the US have had the implants, the company said.

I don't have a great argument against this if it's done on a voluntary basis, especially it it's reversible, but something about it 'bugs' me. Maybe it's because I doubt that it would be truly voluntary if firms are allowed to do this to promote more efficient operations. What if you were the only member of a work crew who wouldn't do it and it slowed the entire group down? Would peer pressure matter? What about the military or police where there are clear advantages to having all members tagged? Should embedded ID or more complicated electronics be required, particularly if not doing so puts lives at risk? This is a door I'd rather keep closed in both the business and government sectors.

    Posted by on Sunday, February 12, 2006 at 04:28 PM in Economics, Technology | Permalink  TrackBack (0)  Comments (11)

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