Veri Chip And The Rfid Technology Tracking Technology

793 words - 3 pages

VeriChip and the RFID technologyA microchip that can identify and track people sounds like something out of a science fiction novel , but this technology is here and being used in everyday situations. This new innovation has caused breakthroughs in the medical industry, government and private businesses. Although we can gain much from the "microchip", or radio frequency identifier chip, there are underlying fears generated from changes in the familiar. The leading provider company, VeriChip, has introduced the first human implantable radio frequency identifier chip (RFID) which has been approved by the FDA. This implanted chip is the focal point for much of the medical promise and political pre-scientific fears. The implantable chip is not the company's only RFID product; RFIDs are used for tracking assets, consumable inventories, and identification.The RFID is a small chip with an attached antenna that contains a number, when in proximity of a certain radio frequency it responds by broadcasting its number. Lev Grossman, author of the article "Tag, Your It" explains some of the uses of the chip when he says that "Vets have been implanting RFID chips in pets for years, and there's a NASDAQ-traded company called VeriChip that manufactures RFID chips specifically for use in human beings, the idea being that the chips would provide a quick and reliable way to store and retrieve emergency medical information; VeriChip is also marketed in South America as a way to track kidnap victims" (40). Currently one of the world's largest retailers, Wal-Mart, is employing this technology as a means of inventory management. RFID chips are used in library books, tires and US passports acquired after January of 2008 have an RFID chip imbedded inside. The implantable chip in the US has been outfitted for medical patients and has no form of tracking attached to it.According to Todd Lewan "In an emergency, hospital staff could wave a reader over a patient's arm, get an ID number and then, via the Internet, enter a company database and pull up the person's identity and medical history" (6.D). This implanted version of the chip is being met with some resistance for example in Cincinnati the company, CityWatcher.com, "chipped" two of its employees. The purpose of implanting RFID tags in the company's employees was for access to sensitive areas. Although a CityWatcher.com executive states that the employees and he volunteered to be "chip-injected" the move still sparked concern from organizations for...

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