From the moment computers were accessible to the general public, the world has taken technology and ran with it. From the International Business Machines Personal Computer in 1988 that dramatically changed not only the professional but personal life to the Apple iPhone that virtually replaced the computer, technology hasn’t stopped and it never will. When, though, has it gone it too far?
A Swedish company located at the Epicenter high-tech office block in Stockholm has implanted microchips in some of its staff. These microchips use radio-frequency identification and are close to the size of a grain of rice. They can be used to operate the photocopier, open security doors and even pay for lunch in the downstairs cafe of the building.
Now is when technology has gone too far. The government has enough tricks up their sleeve when it comes to tracking citizens and invading their privacy. Microchips implanted in our hands are not necessary. Being spied on is something that us Americans, quite frankly, are used to.
Immediately after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 a series of global surveillance programs were created in order to better equip the NSA in the event that another terrorist attack took place.
The NSA’s programs, which the press was told were being used only to seek out known terrorists, were in fact being used for mass surveillance. This means that instead of only looking through emails that show cause for concern, or listening to phone calls of known terrorists, they were looking and listening to everything.
These programs fueled the already heated debates over the balance between national security and information privacy. If this magnitude of surveillance is possible now, imagine the possibilities that arise from having a chip in your hand. Privacy would forever be a thing of the past.
While many people feel as though their constitutional right to privacy is being ripped away from them there are some that are actually enthusiastic about this new form of technology. Amal Graafstra, founder of biohacking company Dangerous Things in Seattle, is a double implantee. In Graafstra’s right hand he has a re-writable chip, in which he can store small amounts of data. When he presses his hand to his phone he is able to download information from his body or upload into it. The chip in his left hand includes a small identity number that he scans for various things like unlocking his front door, logging into his computer or starting his motorcycle.
Many urge us into believing that these chips being implanted under our skin are just like the credit cards sitting in everyone’s wallet right this second. The only difference is it’s much easier to take a credit card out of a wallet and destroy it then it is to rip a chip out from under the skin of a hand. As it is right now anyone can take all their cash, get rid of their cell phone and computer and buy a one way ticket to anywhere and disappear. Our society, in my opinion, is just not ready to give away that freedom for something as trivial as being able to open a door with the wave of a hand.