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California's state Senate curbs a high-tech societal dilemma by making it illegal for employers to require ID chips implanted in their employees

Radio Frequency ID chip-maker VeriChip's slogan is "RFID for people."  The company grabbed headlines in October 2004 when it  gained FDA approval for its subdermal RFID implant.  The RFID chip measured in at 12 mm by 2.1 mm and allowed implantees to be identified and tracked using broadcast radio identification.

The chips are marketed for everything from medical tracking and identification, to security applications.

Last year, the Cincinnati based video-surveillance firm, mandated any employee that worked in its secure data center to get implanted with one of VeriChip's implants.  Two of its employees received the implants. 

Also, last year, blog RFID Lowdown reported that Hackensack University Medical Center, in Hackensack, New Jersey nominated patients for a study on the usefulness of these implants. These potential implantees suffer from chronic conditions like heart disease, epilepsy and diabetes.  Patients with these conditions will be placed a two-year program that will test "personal health record modules" inserted just beneath their skin.

Enormous controversy was generated by these moves, because the concept of employer required implants, or the possibility of involuntary medical implanting was seen by many as a dangerous high-tech invasion of privacy.  Also, concerns of the security of these devices’s information were also raised, as RFID chips have been publically compromised.

In response to these concerns the state of Wisconsin recently passed a bill that banned anyone, including the employers and the government, from implanting RFID chips in anyone without consent.

The LA Times reports that the California State Senate has passed a bill that goes one step farther, by banning employers from requiring employees to receive implants.  Nine senators voted against the bill, including Bob Margett (R-Arcadia), who is quoted by the Times as saying it was premature to regulate technology that has not yet proved to be a problem.

"It sounded like it was a solution looking for a problem, it didn't seem like it was necessary," Margett is quoted as saying.

An observation on both bills is that neither explicitly bans employers from asking their employees to voluntarily get implants.  Neither bill bans employers from rewarding employees who get voluntarily implanted.

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Implant in Child?
By whataboutthechildren on 9/3/2007 11:49:30 PM , Rating: 2
I'm curious what you all think about this concept in a child. As a new dad, I'm sickened by the thought of pervs abducting my child. And let's face it, either there are more pervs today or we hear about them more via mass media. Either way, I want to be safe.

My dilemnas would be a) security of the implant, and b) when to tell the child (and remove the implant)....8, 12, 16? I'm thinking earlier rather than later...kid's gotta get on and roll at some point without parents looking over the shoulder.

But, there are serious ethical questions that I just can't answer at this point. Dangerous world vs. free will maybe. I just want my baby to be safe...


RE: Implant in Child?
By Howard on 9/3/2007 11:58:59 PM , Rating: 3
On the one hand, I feel that children are the responsibility of the parents and therefore the decision rests on their shoulders. On the other hand, if the parents supervise the children properly, there should not be any need for such tracking devices.

RE: Implant in Child?
By Lord 666 on 9/4/07, Rating: -1
RE: Implant in Child?
By KristopherKubicki on 9/4/2007 2:27:47 AM , Rating: 5
Keep in mind, RFID only works when a sensor is in close proximity to the chip. A tracking device might have saved here, but more likely it would have just been able to help investigators follow her last steps.

RE: Implant in Child?
By Lord 666 on 9/4/2007 2:43:27 AM , Rating: 1
The essence of the article is implantable technology to track or identify. RFID, cellular, and/or GPS enable the same functionality but at different ranges.

Currently and through through the use of cellphone towers and GPS, a person's position can be triangulated -


Instead of keeping the tracking chip in the cellphone that can be easily smashed or dunked in water, it can be implanted - in both children and convicted child molesters.

RE: Implant in Child?
By marvdmartian on 9/4/2007 9:15:05 AM , Rating: 2
You do realize that tracking someone's cell phone is facilitated more easily because that cell phone has an active transceiver in it, right? So until we can implant cell phones in people's heads, then chipping them with an RFID is still only going to be good for short range.

The best method at this point in time to keep track of which kid belongs to who, is to handprint & footprint them, and do dna sampling, when they're a baby. It doesn't keep them from being snatched, but it does prove who they are, down the road, if it's suspected that the child isn't who the kidnapper says they are.

RE: Implant in Child?
By LogicallyGenius on 9/4/2007 9:30:47 AM , Rating: 1
So these RFID cant be cut removed from children ?

What a pain that will be on poor children adding to the abduction

RE: Implant in Child?
By Xerstead on 9/4/2007 1:21:31 PM , Rating: 2
Lets record DNA and fingerprints of every child. Easy enough to argue, but remember; in 20-30+ years time the government will have a record of every adult.

RE: Implant in Child?
By SlyNine on 9/5/2007 4:47:37 AM , Rating: 1
This is very dangerous and gives the government way to much power over the people.

RE: Implant in Child?
By slunkius on 9/4/2007 1:52:40 AM , Rating: 2
"supervise" like keep an eye on them 100% of the time? guess you haven't spent much time with children

RE: Implant in Child?
By Lord 666 on 9/4/2007 2:23:06 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, quite the opposite about the amount of time spent with children. I am speaking as an educator and parent.

RE: Implant in Child?
By PAPutzback on 9/4/2007 8:06:53 AM , Rating: 1
You must not have kids. They aren't like puppies that stay right by your side. They wander off and get abducted at all ages. At what age would you let your child take the dog out or put the mail in mailbox. My guess is whatever age you come up with that a child has been abducted at that age. Given I have been at local festivals where I see kids running around by themselves for long times but luckily where I live right now they keep lots of cops on hand at the festivals.

I wish they could put locators in the children or atleast get them cheap enough so they can be embedded in all their clothes.

RE: Implant in Child?
By Crank the Planet on 9/4/2007 6:54:30 PM , Rating: 3
This is the Borg Collective. Prepare to be assimilated. We will add your biological and technological distinctives to our own. You will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.

Wow. it's amazing what a little research will do. We have lived for thousands upon thousands of years without tracking devices and we can go for thousands upon thousands more without them. If this ever becomes mandatory you'd better run for your life!

Fight for you right to privacy! No one deserves to be tracked like an animal.

RE: Implant in Child?
By number999 on 9/4/2007 12:06:47 AM , Rating: 2
Try this. A cancelled tv show called Century City about lawyers in the future tackling some tech trends that happen today and the impact of the tech.

In this episode kid has a chip tracking device and constainst monitoring.

The thing is, even if you have the chip implanted, what's going to stop someone from figuring it out and removing it or worse yet because the tech is out there, the perp decides to ensure his own safety by immediately doing what he's going to do and then tying up the loose ends as fast as possible. Macabre but that's just what might happen.

RE: Implant in Child?
By JonnyDough on 9/4/2007 1:30:13 AM , Rating: 3
Exactly. If it's common standard to put it in a child's left arm, we're going to have a few right handed rescued kids running around...

RE: Implant in Child?
By Lord 666 on 9/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: Implant in Child?
By Zelvek on 9/4/2007 1:58:08 AM , Rating: 2
I think all of you are a little mixed up on how these implants work you cant track anyone who is any great distance from you. This chips are not like GPS or anything that sophisticated I have yet to hear of them exceeding a range of 500M.

You might say if authority's had an area narrowed down they could search it much faster. However half a kilometer is the max distance in lab conditions. With all the EMI and RFI of the real world and the further possibility that the chip is being shielded or has been destroyed... RFID tags are not likely to make a huge difference just yet.

RE: Implant in Child?
By Lord 666 on 9/4/2007 2:29:34 AM , Rating: 1
Not mixed up at all. Via the use of cellphone towers, a person's position can be triangulated.

Instead of keeping the tracking chip in the cellphone that can be easily smashed or dunked in water, it can be implanted.

RE: Implant in Child?
By smitty3268 on 9/4/2007 5:13:05 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, RFID doesn't work that way. Mostly because you can't stick a huge battery into it that gets recharged every night. Unless they're withing a couple feet of the cellphone tower, there just isn't any way to detect it.

At least not yet, who knows what the technology will be like in 10 years.

RE: Implant in Child?
By SilthDraeth on 9/4/2007 10:12:07 AM , Rating: 3
You keep expressing this view that we can magically track RFID from cell towers, and people keep countering you, and yet you persist?

Cell phones are powered by batteries and transmit at a much greater power than an RFID chip.

The way the use them to track lost dogs, is when a dog gets turned into the pound, it is scanned at close range, and then they have the information. You can't just simply scan an entire city block, or state for a specific RFID number and triangulate its location within meters.

RE: Implant in Child?
By rockyct on 9/4/2007 2:00:59 AM , Rating: 2
RFID is not a location tracking type device. It's just a very detailed ID card inside you. Unless there are RFID readers at every street corner, it's not going to help find someone. There are some worthwhile uses for RFID implants, but it's much easier to become a privacy issue because the chips can be scanned without you knowing it.

RE: Implant in Child?
By derdon on 9/4/2007 4:56:57 AM , Rating: 2
So, when you think it's okay for children to be equipped with such a thing, when they grow up, what stops them from equipping you with such a thing, when it's you who needs to be monitored?

"I just want my baby to be safe"
You can't safe them from living though...
If you have a pet, you can make two decisions:
a) put it in a cage and have it safe
b) let it out and live

Yes, it may die earlier from b, but what are the extra years worth of a)?

RE: Implant in Child?
By rdeegvainl on 9/4/2007 7:44:05 AM , Rating: 2
Or you could fence in your yard with the pet, put some poles in the ground at a regular interval to prevent digging and let it run around all day when your gone. Though I still got mine tagged in case someone steals it.
But with kids? these technologies are yet advanced enough to be effective. But I see no problem with it when the technology is effective enough to be useful. It's not about keeping them safe from life, it's about helping locate missing children. They also should set up a system for removing either due to age or other extreme circumstances.

RE: Implant in Child?
By Misty Dingos on 9/4/2007 8:36:22 AM , Rating: 2
What we have here parents and kids is a failure of imagination.

I would think that anyone that is planning, willing and determined to abduct your or anyone's child for vile purposes, it is inconceivable to me that they would not have a plan in mind to disable the implant.

Keep in mind this is someone who is going to rape and murder a child. How would detecting and removing an RFID implant be an impediment? If it took them ten minutes I would be surprised. Once the implant is gone what good did it do to treat your child like a dog?

Now if you want to protect your kid try this. Have a stay at home parent. Oh my god! How freaky is that? Mom stays home (or for you folks in CA. Dad could stay home as an alternative). Then there is a parent to look out for the child and the parents get the added benefit that they don't have to pay for child care. Their child will do better in school and be better adjusted also. Yes studies do support that a child that has a parent that actually raises them do better in life. Go figure thousands of years of civilization had it right and foisting your child off on some daycare center isn't all that good for the tikes.

And for those of you that really can't let go of the idea that the high tech solution is the way to go. Get a powered transmitter that resides in a nearly unbreakable wrist band. It could be set to transmit the location and health of your child at regular intervals. It could recharge by being in proximity of the child say during night when they are in bed. If your child is abducted it could emit an ear piercing sound and transmit it's location to the police immediately. Or if it left a predetermined area. And you haven't treated you kid like a dog. I would also include a high pressure dye in the wrist band that would spray in all directions if the band is tampered with. Is it foolproof? No but I think it is a better idea than treating your child like an animal. Would it stop a determined child predator? Probably not. But it might make finding the child or prosecuting the offender easier.

RE: Implant in Child?
By Christopher1 on 9/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: Implant in Child?
By Christopher1 on 9/4/07, Rating: -1
RE: Implant in Child?
By fic2 on 9/4/2007 12:44:53 PM , Rating: 3
You have got to be freakin' kidding me! Every sex act that a pedophile engages in with a child is a rape. Children don't have the capacity to decide whether they want to have sex with an adult. That is why there is a separate classification for it.

I have never heard such bullsh*t. I would like you to be able to find any parent, or normal adult for that matter, that would just stand by and let a child be propositioned by a pedophile and allow the child to accept it.

I think you need to see a therapist about your "nice" experiences.

RE: Implant in Child?
By SlyNine on 9/5/2007 4:57:44 AM , Rating: 1
Oo Wow.. Sorry every child subjected to this that I know is alot WORSE off. you need to think very carefully about your actions with children and I hope you decide to stay far far away from them.

RE: Implant in Child?
By rudy on 9/4/2007 1:30:48 PM , Rating: 2
What good would it be, its not like there are sensors for these spread out all over the country to find an abducted child. It would take probably more then a decade for this to be any bit usefull in that scenario.

What sucks is if you switch jobs and they have to keep cutting the old one out and putting new ones in. I think this is kinda stupid given we have better systems in place with no such needed invasive devices. Finger print and retinal scanners should just be installed in areas requiring this much security. They will uniquely Identify people.

RE: Implant in Child?
By Martimus on 9/4/2007 1:51:22 PM , Rating: 2
I would never put one of these implants in my daughter. Free will is far more important than safety in my opinion. Safety isn't even on the same level. Also, having a constant radio wave emminating from your body from such a young age is almost sure to increase the chances of contracting cancer. The body is still developing, so the extra radiation is even more likely to cause a cell to mutate into something cancerous. I am not about to take those chances with my daughter, just so I can have more peace of mind. If I am really worried about her safety, I just have to spend more time with her and make sacrifices in other parts of my life.

RE: Implant in Child?
By timmiser on 9/4/2007 2:47:28 PM , Rating: 1
I think that's a great idea and I would probably keep their until age 16.

I'm 42 years old and I wouldn't mine having an implant that my loved ones could locate me if I ever became missing.

It would also be cool to have these little buggers on higher valued property to track down in case of theft.

RE: Implant in Child?
By GeorgeOu on 9/13/2007 8:24:44 PM , Rating: 2
Verichip implants are WORTHLESS from a security standpoint. They're essentially passing plain text over the air and anyone can clone it. If it's cloned (which has been demonstrated), you'll have to undergo knife treatment to get a new one unless the chip is reprogrammable.

As for kids getting abducted, I have two kids and I can tell you that RFID isn't going to make me feel any better. First of all, that RFID implant isn't going to be a "LoJack" device for children and you're not going to be able to track them down if they're abducted. Second, having the RFID implant might mean the abductor will mutilate your child to take the implant out.

The one place I think RFID implants make sense is for medical purposes. If it makes it easier for emergency workers to identify a patient’s special needs, that’s great. There’s also new technology being developed for diabetics where the RFID sensor can wirelessly report glucose levels without you having to prick your finger every day.

However, RFID implants are absolutely worthless and even if they stopped using clear text authentication and switched to strong NSA Suite B grade crypto, I wouldn’t want it. I mean think about it; is any material item in this world worth life or limb? If someone wants my access device and password at the point of a gun to rob me, I’d give it to them. I don’t want them to have to cut it out of my body.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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