Kathy is a freelance writer for Textbroker, Verblio, and Constant Content and published author in Neon Rainbow Magazine.
I Will Never Have a Microchip
I heard a story the other day about how a company in Wisconsin is offering to microchip employees. That's right. This is a microchip that is inserted in your hand, just the way they are sometimes into dogs and cats (usually around the collar area). Supposedly the chip will enable you buy snacks in the break room, log on to computers, operate office equipment like printers, and open doors.
So I guess my question is this: How lazy can someone be that they can't type a password to log into a computer? Or use a key to get in a door? Or use cash or another type of payment to pay for snacks? Seriously, you need to have a foreign object implanted into your hand to do these things?
I can't remember a topic over the last year or so that I have felt so passionately about. I will never, I mean never, be micro-chipped. End of discussion (for me at least) It's not happening. We are not owned by a company. We are not slaves, that was supposed to have been ended years ago. We are not a company's property.
According to companies that do this like the company in Sweden called Epicenter and another company in Belgium, it's to provide convenience for employees. Uh huh. What about the potential for surveillance, knowing where an employee is every second of the day? Privacy issues come up as red lights when I think of this, and I could never feel that a company is justified in asking employees to do this.
So it's easy to buy snacks. Does this mean that your bank account information is tied to this microchip? And potentially, does it mean that someone unauthorized could get access to your bank account? They claim that everything is encrypted, but we've seen how well that works every time a company is "hacked" and credit card information stolen.
Questions to Ask About Microchipping Employees
I found so many questions coming up for me, and there don't really seem to be any good answers for them yet. If you know any of the answers, please feel free to comment. Here are some questions that I thought of:
- Does this microchip set off metal detectors at airports and other places?
- Does it interact with WiFi every time you step into a location that has WiFi?
- What does this mean for employee privacy?
- If you leave your job and don't have it removed, can the company continue to use it?
- What happens when you leave the company?
- How difficult is it to remove this when you leave if you want it removed?
- Who pays the cost of removal?
- Does this have an effect on the Fair Labor Standards Act?
These are just a few of the questions I have. From what I've read, companies that are offering this option are footing the cost of having the microchip implanted in workers hands. The cost is about $300. They claim that there is no GPS facet to this microchip. But knowing employers over my 30 year working career, I certainly wouldn't put it past them to add this facet in the future. Maybe I just worked for crappy companies. I never could build up trust since it always seemed so one-sided. There is no loyalty to workers any more, and more and more workers are losing loyalty towards companies.
So maybe someone can enlighten me. Why on earth would an employee voluntarily have this done? The companies doing it now say it's voluntary. What if it becomes mandatory in the future? Since I'm not too far from retirement, that's not a huge concern for me, but for my kids and grand kids... who knows what this might mean for them and their futures.
The Device Used to Implant a Microchip
Watching Videos of Microchips Being Implanted is Nauseating and Graphic
I tried to be somewhat open-minded about this topic, so I went to watch some videos that were done of people actually having microchips implanted. It is implanted into your hand, between your thumb and forefinger. Supposedly it's safe, but seriously, what about a chance of infection? They are putting a hole in your hand! Supposedly there is very little blood involved.
Being a bit squeamish anyway, I found myself flushing, feeling my skin and neck getting hot, and at the same time I was getting nauseated - and this was just from watching someone else having it done.
This is a company. That you are working for. You punch in, put in your time and get paid for your time. Why in heaven's name are you going to let them "brand" you with this technology?? Seriously. If you've had this done, maybe you can explain your reasoning to me, because I just don't get it.
I think there are a lot of risks involved with having this done, and not just physical ones. There are so many unknowns right now about where this technology could be taken in the future that it just seems like a science fiction crazy concept to me right now. What about liability? What if a person gets an infection or experiences infection from having it removed? Who is footing the bills for that? The potential liability seems like too big of a risk.
From someone who is allergic to mercury based preservatives, what if someone is allergic to something in this microchip? I think some of these questions lead to even more questions, which I don't think there are answers for yet. There are claims that these microchips are biologically safe, but are they really? Who knows what the ramifications might be years down the road. But then, I guess you could say the same thing for hazardous workplaces that expose employees to things like asbestos.
Why Would We Trust Companies This Much?
In a perfect world, if companies were actually honest and trustworthy. Who am I kidding. I think a lot of them are so focused on the almighty dollar they would "sell their mother for money" as the saying goes. So why would I ever be so trusting as to have a microchip inserted into my hand? How do you know they're being truthful about what information they'll get from this chip? Maybe I'm just too independent and ask too many questions!
I read something about how hypothetically, medical information and data about a person's health could be obtained from this technologically. Where does this put the HIPAA laws? How do employees really know what is going to happen to this information?
For animals who cannot speak and don't always know their way home if they become lost, microchip technology makes a lot of sense. For people who are employees of a company, not so much. At least in my opinion. For those who want to have a chip inserted, go for it. But as for me, I'll pass. There are just too many questions that have not yet been answered!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2017 KathyH
KathyH (author) from Waukesha, Wisconsin on April 10, 2018:
I agree, Larry! My first reaction when I heard about this was that they’ve definitely crossed a line! Thanks so much for your comment!
Larry W Fish from Raleigh on April 10, 2018:
This story when I first heard about it made me upset. I can understand putting a microchip into dogs. That makes a lot of sense in case they get lost. However putting a microchip in humans is crossing the line. No company should have the right to do that.
KathyH (author) from Waukesha, Wisconsin on November 26, 2017:
I agree, Lois L.! It really is disturbing! Thanks so much for your comment!
Lois L on November 24, 2017:
Hi, I find this disturbing. People shouldn't have to have a microchip put in any where in their bodies. We're not animals.
KathyH (author) from Waukesha, Wisconsin on August 01, 2017:
Wow, MizBejabbers, your alien abduction story gave me goosebumps!! Strange for sure! I wonder if there was any truth to it? I cannot understand the people interviewed in the story I read who just seemed to laugh about having this done. One had tattoos and said they just wanted to try something different, and another seemed to enjoy the idea of being on the cutting edge of technology.
Well, we finally just broke down two years ago and got smart phones, that's about as futuristic and I'm planning on getting. Microchipping? No way! Thanks so much for your great comment!
Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on July 30, 2017:
I saw the story on TV a few days ago and thought to myself how stupid can people get. It's painful enough to get a heparin lock put into one's arm when it's needed, so why ask for more pain. I agree with your assessment, especially since I just retired from state government. I certainly would not have allowed one.
Your statement about a "science fiction crazy concept" is right on target. In the early 1990s we made friends with a man who claimed to have been abducted by aliens. He had me feel a tiny hard lump about an inch from his wrist that he said was inserted during the abduction. If I told you his name, you could google it and find that both he and his wife went public, then she died. Today he claims online that the abduction never occurred. So what really happened? Was his first story true, and was it a microchip in his arm? Did "they" track him? I don't know, but he seemed very sincere at the time.
KathyH (author) from Waukesha, Wisconsin on July 28, 2017:
That does sound like a much better option, Mary! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
Mary Wickison from Brazil on July 26, 2017:
I hadn't read about this but it does seem extreme, and if given the option, I can't see employees going for this.
I would have thought a palm scanner or retinal scanner would be a better and certainly less invasive option.
Where I live, I always use the ATM machine and that has a palm scanner. It is more secure, and faster than using a PIN.