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October 13, 2004


Just put it on my chip, Bartender!


At last, at last! Today the FDA finally approved the implantable microchip VeriChip™ for medical use. VeriChip™ is already in use to keep your pets from getting lost (and similar radio frequency identification, or RFID, tags are used in everything from library books and ID badges), but the approval of the chip for medical information will open up a whole new world of possibilities. With VeriChip™, you will never again have to call your mom to ask your blood type. Instead, your doctor can simply scan the chip in your bicep, and the chip's serial number will link to all that information you can never remember.

"Whatever," I hear you say. "Why should I get The Chip for something so boring?" But wait! What if, like in the Mexico attorney general's office, you could implant The Chip in your employees to give them security clearance? What if, like Spanish clubgoers, you could use your chip to buy drinks at the bar? (This strikes me as both the most brilliant idea ever and also the most dangerous, kind of like using your credit card in the slot machines.) And the best part? Your VeriChip™ will last 20 years!

It's curious that VeriChip™'s parent company Applied Digital Solutions touts itself as specializing in "security". Security for who? I'm constantly amazed at how consumers in our surveillance culture giddily give up their personal information without any comprehension of who is using it, and how.

Here is one BBC correspondent's story of his night on the town with his chip.

Wikipedia on RFID tags and the controversy on their usage.

Or pre-register for your personal VeriChip™ here.

categories: Business, Culture, Science, Technology
posted by Emily at 1:26 PM | #

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