Friday, July 16, 2004

Dept. of WTF?!?!?: RFID Tech Makes Human Leap

To be honest the oldman thought that this step would be years down the road.  The oldman has written before about the insidious creepiness of the spread of RFID - tracking chip technology - into our lives and how companies like Walmart are building an infrastructure for it. The oldman has posted about the increased mandatory use of this implantable tracking chip technology for dogs, and how the Supreme Court's seemingly innocuous recent ruling about the illegality of withholding identification from a police officer was setting up the legal framework for a  mandatory National Identification system. Now comes shocking news from Mexico, where high ranking legal officials have already introduced implanted tracking and identification chip technology in actual human beings.

July 16, 2004

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Security has reached the subcutaneous level for Mexico's attorney general and at least 160 people in his office. They have been implanted with microchips that get them access to secure areas of their headquarters.
It's a pioneering application of a technology that is widely used in animals but not in humans.

Mexico's top federal prosecutors and investigators began receiving chip implants in their arms in November in order to get access to restricted areas inside the attorney general's headquarters, said Antonio Aceves, general director of Solusat, the company that distributes the microchips in Mexico.

Attorney General Rafael Macedo de la Concha and 160 of his employees were implanted at a cost to taxpayers of $150 for each rice-grain-sized chip.

More are scheduled to get "tagged" in coming months, and key members of the Mexican military, the police and the office of President Vicente Fox might follow suit, Aceves said. Fox's office did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
A spokeswoman for Macedo de la Concha's office said she could not comment on Aceves' statements, citing security concerns. But Macedo himself mentioned the chip program to reporters Monday, saying he had received an implant in his arm. He said the chips were required to enter a new federal anti-crime information centre.

The chips also could provide more certainty about who accessed sensitive data at any given time. In the past, the biggest security problem for Mexican law enforcement has been corruption by officials themselves.

Aceves said his company eventually hopes to provide Mexican officials with implantable devices that can track their physical location at any given time, but that technology is still under development.

The chips that have been implanted are manufactured by VeriChip Corp., a subsidiary of Applied Digital Solutions Inc. of Palm Beach, Fla.

They lie dormant under the skin until read by an electromagnetic scanner, which uses a technology known as radio frequency identification, or RFID.

In addition to the chips sold to the Mexican government, more than 1,000 Mexicans have implanted them for medical reasons, Aceves said. Hospital officials can use a scanning device to download a chip's serial number, which they then use for access to a patient's blood type, name and other information on a computer.

The Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve microchips as medical devices in the United States.

It seems that they just skipped a few steps and starting seeing what it would be like to try it out in actual people. I'm not a luddite or a technophobe but I think that a society that is still debating the relative merits and actual implementation impact of the Patriot Act is not ready for widespread usage of such devices and all the attendant problems inherent with it. It's not as if we've come close to solving the problems of spam, identity theft, financial transaction security (remember the recent insider AOL-ID heist?), medical privacy rights, or a whole other host of problems. We're just not ready for this, but there's some kind of push on out there to see this stuff become much more widespread and embedded (literally) in our everyday lives (and bodies). The oldman opposes this and notes that for once he finds himself aligned with the Religious Right on a subject. They'd go freaking bonkers with this if it every happened.


At October 11, 2005 at 11:32 AM, Blogger St Louis Cardinals BUFF said...

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