For now, it’s just the willing ones who get the chip, but how long until this becomes the norm?
Swedish start-up hub Epicenter incorporates more than 100 companies and over 2,000 employees and in January of 2015, they started implanting microchips. This procedure is completely optional and until now, around 150 workers have opted to have a microchip inserted under their skin.
The procedure is almost painless and involves inserting microchips the size of a rice grain in the flesh next to the thumb. At the moment, the microchips function like swipe cards, allowing employees to open doors, operate office printers and even purchase stuff.
The procedure is gaining momentum and the company even hosts monthly parties where those willing to make the first step towards becoming a cyborg get pricked with a syringe.
“The biggest benefit I think is convenience,” said Epicenter co-founder and CEO Patrick Mesterton. “It basically replaces a lot of things you have, other communication devices, whether it be credit cards or keys.”
The implants employ Near Field Communication (NFC) technology and are passive devices, meaning they can be read but cannot read themselves. Whenever a microchip is placed a few inches from a reader, the reader initiates communication via electromagnetic waves. The same principle applies to contactless credit cards.
The difference between these subdermal implants and contactless credit cards lies in the security protocols. Theoretically, the implants could allow hackers to swipe sensitive data without too much hassle so this procedure brings up an important ethical dilemma.
“The data that you could possibly get from a chip that is embedded in your body is a lot different from the data that you can get from a smartphone,” said Ben Libberton, microbiologist at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute. “Conceptually you could get data about your health, you could get data about your whereabouts, how often you’re working, how long you’re working, if you’re taking toilet breaks and things like that.”
In our day and age, when great emphasis is put on one’s security and privacy and an even greater effort goes into intruding on these rights, does it make sense for you to waive these privileges just so you’ll be able to open doors with the swipe of your hand?
For a long time, conspiracy theorists have been saying that this is how it all begins, the enslavement of the human being. You all know that the process is well underway and the willful implanting of a microchip is just making things easier for those with the power and the intent.
Your smartphone is already feeding constant streams of data, giving away your interests and your position. Your smart TV is listening. But at least you can dispose of these. A microchip, even if it’s only skin deep, goes with you wherever you go and removing it is harder and riskier than with the others.
Technology is used for surveillance, no doubt about it. Like others before it, microchipping starts out as a fad and because it’s sort of an enabler, people will follow other people, willingly throwing away their integrity and giving the ruling elite another ace to be used against them.
By the looks of it, the issue of national security will soon involve tightening the grip on the population. They will want to exert a greater control, and what better way to keep an eye on Joe and Jane other than to crawl under their skin?
But, despite the fact that the world is slowly heading to a collective bad place, people think it’s cool to get microchips. Like one Epicenter employee said, “I want to be part of the future!”
You will be. You will be.