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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 CityWatcher.com, 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 GeorgeOu on 9/13/2007 8:24:44 PM , Rating: 2
http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=301
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.


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