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Microchip implants raise privacy concern - Yahoo! News
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" Microchips are now fixed to car windshields as toll-paying devices, on "contactless" payment cards (Chase's "Blink," or MasterCard's "PayPass"). They're embedded in Michelin tires, library books, passports, work uniforms, luggage, and, unbeknownst to many consumers, on a host of individual items, from Hewlett Packard printers to Sanyo TVs, at Wal-Mart and Best Buy.
But CityWatcher.com employees weren't appliances or pets: They were people made scannable.
"It was scary that a government contractor that specialized in putting surveillance cameras on city streets was the first to incorporate this technology in the workplace," says Liz McIntyre, co-author of "Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID."
Darks, the CityWatcher.com executive, dismissed his critics, noting that he and his employees had volunteered to be chip-injected. Any suggestion that a sinister, Big-Brother-like campaign was afoot, he said, was hogwash.
"You would think that we were going around putting chips in people by force," he told a reporter, "and that's not the case at all."
Yet, within days of the company's announcement, civil libertarians and Christian conservatives joined to excoriate the microchip's implantation in people.
RFID, they warned, would soon enable the government to "frisk" citizens electronically — an invisible, undetectable search performed by readers posted at "hotspots" along roadsides and in pedestrian areas. It might even be used to squeal on employees while they worked; time spent at the water cooler, in the bathroom, in a designated smoking area could one day be broadcast, recorded and compiled in off-limits, company databases.
"Ultimately," says Katherine Albrecht, a privacy advocate who specializes in consumer education and RFID technology, "the fear is that the government or your employer might someday say, 'Take a chip or starve.'"