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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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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.

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini

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