Human Microchip Implants Essay

2316 words - 9 pages

As the complexity and convenience of technology increases, some of the
new advancements such as microchip implant for humans and animals can be very controversial. At first, the implants may seem to have benefits but in the long run they will actually cause more trouble than they are worth. These potential "troublemakers" are about the size of an elongated grain of rice and are injected in the skin under the arm or hand (Feder, Zeller 15). The chip is not powered by battery and there is nothing that can possibly leak out into the body (Posada-Swafford 8). An early form of this technology was used to monitor salmon and has been used for other wildlife research (Verhovek 5). The idea of the chips was started from the September 11 tragedy when the firefighters going into the Twin Towers were "IDing" themselves by writing information on their arm about their blood type, health conditions, and their identity with a permanent marker (Bentley 10). The VeriChip Corporation, which is owned by Applied Digital Solutions, saw this as an opportunity to market their product. As a result of their marketing ploys, Applied Digital claims that so far there have been about 1,000 human recipients of the chip.
The idea for human microchip implants was actually started from the microchips in pets and other animals. "Tracking devices have already been available to pet owners for nearly ten years"(Daugherty 2). They were designed to be more secure and to take the place of the old external tags (Feder, Zeller 15). Besides monitoring salmon, the chips were first used to keep track of livestock, but now they have migrated to use in domestic pets. Although there is still a seemingly low number (about 1.6 Million) of chipped pets in the United States, the number of pets being implanted is increasing regularly (Verhovek 5). According to pet experts, the return of domestic pets to their owners is at least four times as likely if the pet has a microchip and getting a pet chipped only costs somewhere between 15 and 60 dollars (Lubell 13). Maybe the low cost has something to do with the steady rise in pet implants. Another contributing factor to the rise in chips is that many animal shelters around the country have the chips put in the animals when they are adopted (Verhovek 5). For example, the entire city of Los Angeles, which has one of the highest numbers of stray pets in the nation, requires that all stray pets found must have the microchip put in their shoulder (Lubell 13). The first animal shelter in the United States to have all their adopted animals implanted with the chips was the Marin Humane Society in Northern California (Verhovek 5). Contrary to common belief, the tags in the pets are not tracking devices like the ones put in wildlife. Instead, they have a code that when scanned through a computer brings up information about the pet, including who the owners are. However, years ago the scanner used to read the chips in pets could not read the chip if it was made...

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