A Wisconsin company announced it was allowing its employees to have a microchip implant to allow easier and faster access to the building and equipment.
I remember the first time I had a microchip implant. The chip looked to be about the size and shape of an individual grain of rice.
Not huge. But certainly not what I’d have considered “micro,” either.
I remember thinking the dog is going to cry when a needle big enough to implant that chip between his shoulder blades would be inserted.
But the dog didn’t cry out. He didn’t seem to notice. Since that day, I’ve had every dog I’ve owned microchipped.
The idea isn’t that I can track my dog’s every move. It doesn’t work that way. The chip doesn’t allow you to track a dog like a GPS device would. All the chip does is allow a shelter or veterinary clinic to scan the animal and notify me if my dog and I should ever become separated.
Workers to voluntarily allow a microchip implant.
A Wisconsin vending machine manufacturer told CBS News it would be the first company to begin microchipping employees. Most of its workers, in fact, have agreed to have a chip implanted in their hands.
As a result, they can enter their building by waving their hand in front of a card reader, log in to their computers instead of remembering a password, and pay for items in the breakroom without having to fumble for their wallet and produce a credit card.
The company is even paying the tab for the implants, which cost about $300 each, CBS reported.
Privacy experts, naturally, worry about — what else? — privacy issues raised by allowing a microchip to be placed inside the body.
But if it’s a similar system as veterinarians use, there’s little reason to worry about privacy: you’d be tracked the same way with that little chip as you would if you were using your passcard to enter the building, every time you logged in to some computer terminal somewhere in the building (or outside of it, for that matter) and whenever you used your credit card in a company vending machine.
The data’s there, no matter what.
It’s just a matter of which type of card or chip happens to be putting the data there.
Given there’s no nefarious intent to watch an employee’s every move, and there doesn’t seem to be such an intent, I don’t see a harm to employees who voluntarily decide they’ll be microchipped.
I wouldn’t be one of them, however.
Carrying around a passcard to get into the building at work, remembering a password, and grabbing my wallet in the breakroom to pay for a snack or a drink isn’t, to me, such an incredible hardship that I’d ever want a microchip “installed” inside my body, no matter how supposedly painless or convenient it might be.
If it were something more serious, like having a microchip installed to deliver some kind of medication or monitor a medical condition, that might be different.
But the convenience this little piece of technological wizardry seems to be providing doesn’t strike me as worthwhile enough to go through it.
(And unlike my dogs, I’m sure I’d feel the pain of such an implant quite well.)
I’d pass on this little option. How about you?