Should We Allow ID Chips to Be Placed Under the Skin of Humans?

How would you like to wake up some morning only to find a tattoo on your arm that says Intel Inside? The idea first started to gain traction back in 2002, when one company (Allied Digital Solutions via a subsidiary) sought FDA approval for its VeriChip, a radio-frequency identification (RFID) device. The purpose of the implant was to make it possible to identify a person — someone who could not identify themselves — and it would contain any pertinent health information that might be needed by emergency personnel. This 2004 documentation contains the FDA guidelines for the embedding of these VeriChip devices into humans (aka patients).

Those who favor using embedded chipping for ID purposes present the following arguments:

  • It would benefit the caregivers of the elderly, especially those who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia, since it would make it easier for them to be located if they wandered off. In this case, it would mean that they could be returned to the safety of their home.
  • It would be a way of locating missing children. This could be an invaluable resource if the child was abducted and not just off playing.
  • It would be valuable in the event that a child suffering from an abnormality (such as autism) could be quickly located if they became lost or if they needed to receive medical treatment.
  • The chip can be used to readily access medical information.
  • The chip can be used for identification purposes, making going through security checkpoints easier.

Those who are against embedding chips into humans for any purpose present these arguments:

  • First and seemingly at the forefront of their argument are privacy issues. They cite that their paramount concern is that the government is already in a position of unwarranted control into the lives of its citizens and that chipping would allow them the ability to track us no matter where we went.
  • This goes hand in hand with religious concerns that the embedding of identification chips could be a prelude to what is referred to in the Bible as the Mark of the Beast. This is a numerical digit that would be placed on a person’s hand or forehead and then scanned whenever something is sold or purchased.
  • Medically, they cite concerns that, for those with auto immune type diseases, the embedding of a chip could lead to infection.
  • Additionally, critics point out that if the person is issued a bracelet with an RFID chip — rather than having one embedded in the skin — they are then allowed the freedom to choose whether they wish to wear the bracelet or not.

However, it appears that the company that originally developed the VeriChip seems to have had second thoughts about it and has currently abandoned its development efforts. According to its website, this is a relatively new development and it is a curiosity as to why it no longer feels the need for emergency personnel to have access to a quick means of accessing medical records. It does appear, though, that the company hasn’t totally given up on the idea of using chips for humans and has developed a chip that it calls GlucoChip, which measures glucose levels in the body using an RFID microchip. The purpose of the microchip is supposedly an effort to assist diabetics in better monitoring their blood glucose levels. Since it is always reading their blood, it will be able to provide real time reporting and analysis. That means that it could just be a matter of time before someone else takes up the mantle to chip humans for other purposes.

One must also note that chipping has become commonplace for other purposes, such as tracking lost pets. Chipping of your pet can cost upwards of $100 or more in most veterinary offices, and the chip itself is about the size of a grain of rice. One cited advantage is that it won’t disturb your pet’s sensitive hearing since it has no broadcast frequency and doesn’t require a battery for power. Currently, this process is simple and the information is limited to an identifying number that associates the pet with its human owner via a scanner and a computer database of information.

So while we are not currently in danger of being given a governmental mandate that we must receive such an implant, it can be concluded that this is definitely one hot topic. However, in the long run there is really only one real issue and that is how you feel about having an ID chip put under your skin. Do you believe that it will really interfere with your constitutional right to privacy? Do you have a religious conviction about having one implanted in your body? Do you think that having medical information available in the event of an accident is important? Each of us has to decide the answers to the above questions for ourselves.

So no matter which side of the issue you are on, whether you are for or against chips being embedded under your skin, I believe you should be allowed the freedom of choice for yourself and for those in your care. I also believe that there are rational opinions on both sides of the issue and that we should all respect and support the choices of others in the matter.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Article Written by

I have been writing for LockerGnome since relocating to Missouri seven years ago, where I continue to be a technology enthusiast who enjoys playing with the newest and latest gadgets.

  • jesse garboden

    Never will take a chip under hand or on forehead!  Don’t believe any one or any thing should be chipped for any reason! If you take the chip you have no chances of going to heaven.

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  • rick

    Bearing the head/hand thing in mind, anyplace else may be OK. Its inevitable though given time and financial mess we are all in.  But, first a one world monetary system will need to be active, so one could travel also.   Im a bad diabetic and can really use it for that.
    Different placements may help preclude RFID stealing?  

  • rick

    Bearing the head/hand thing in mind, anyplace else may be OK. Its inevitable though given time and financial mess we are all in.  But, first a one world monetary system will need to be active, so one could travel also.   Im a bad diabetic and can really use it for that.
    Different placements may help preclude RFID stealing?  

  • Oliver Levay

    YES!!!½ On the neck

  • Oliver Levay

    YES!!!½ On the neck

  • Nathaniel Peterson

    In some ways this can be a great idea, medical info and your identification could be available if you aren’t able to provide it due to an accident in which your unconscious or other similar situations. I don’t think for me at least my privacy is a concern; If your not doing something wrong then why would you care. So many things could evolve from this, like the possibility of proving if a person was involved in a crime or murder. How about if your charged with something you didn’t do, wouldn’t you want to prove that there was no way you were even there? Hey look at the evidence, i was in Florida on vacation. Maybe having it linked to your bank account (this could be an issue with theft) where you could wave your hand over a scanner to make a purchase, enter in a secure pin number and away you go. The possibilities are endless, but thats far into the future I’m sure. But i will be the first in line to get one. Sign me up…

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  • Cutiepie

    Yes all people on Earth should have one! This would stop so much money luanduring,extortions,drugs,ect…. Everyone should be made to have one from birth!!! No more criminals! There’s nothing wrong with RFID. This isn’t what the Bible is talking about, RFID are gifts from GOD! I want my RFID Chip…… just saying!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/souzak99 Ken Souza

     There’s no need for a chip or a visible mark.  I found this article from 2007.  Check it out… invisible RFID ink.  http://www.informationweek.com/news/196802844

  • Major Nelson

    This seems so simple.  It is even mentioned in the article.  Insteadof the chip embedded in the skin, why not have it on a bracelet, or piece of jewelry, allowing the freedom to use it or not.  Imagine the fashion industry that would boom because of it.  Imagine the capability to find information when needed.  Today, I wear a RoadID(.com) bracelet that has medical and emergency contact information.  WHen i go to a bar, I take it off.  No need to identify me if I don’t want you to know who I am.  A national or international RFID identifier bracelet like this allows me piece of mind that if I crash on my bike, the medics will know my blood type and to call my wife.  They’ll know I’m allegic to certain things and they won’t need to call me Sir.  All the reasons against an RFID seem silly, or rhetoric.  It is the same things that have harmed society’s progress. Without these types of fears, imagine a world where we can be concerned about the important global issues rather than the “i’m so damn unique” myth we propagate within ourselves.  While it is good that we can be individuals (braclets off), society should also benefit from its modern technological advances without first consulting a 2000 year old book.

  • Gabby

     I wouldn’t take it. Why? Because we’re human beings, not animals, so nobody has the right to do this to us. Besides, I wouldn’t be too happy about having Big Brother watching me, or tracking me even when I go to the bathroom. I also believe in God, and He doesn’t want us to take the mark of the beast.