A company based in the US has taken the unusual step of being one of the first in the world to implant chips in its employees.
Wisconsin company Three Square Market (32M) sells “micro market technology” running over 2,000 kiosks in break rooms and other locations worldwide.
The company has recently been offering to implant its employees with an RFID microchip the size of a grain of rice.
50 out of the 80 employees of the company reportedly took it up on this offer and accepted the implants voluntarily, which were built by a Swedish company, Biohax International.
The device containing an RFID chip can be used for basic functions such as opening doors around the building or paying for food at the company’s cafeteria.
“We see this as another payment and identification option that not only can be used in our markets but our other self-checkout/self-service applications that we are now deploying which include convenience stores and fitness centres,” said 32M COO Patrick McMullan.
The chip will also allow company employees to use copy machines, log into computers, share business cards and store health information.
“Eventually, this technology will become standardised allowing you to use this as your passport, public transit, all purchasing opportunities, etc.” commented 32M CEO, Todd Westby.
However, this is an employer-owned chip in your body and while an RFID chip doesn’t provide a record of all your movements, such as, your smartphone can, it could easily provide enough data to a curious or unethical supervisor on any employees’ actions.
With this in mind, the implementation of this technology could, in the short-term harm the PR image of an organisation and damage its prospects for attracting high-end talent, at least until use of this tech is normalised.
But, it’s important to keep in mind that the company’s chip program is completely voluntary and directly related to its product offerings.
Still, this is not how technology should progress when becoming more integrated into our biology. Anyone who values their privacy and right to own everything that goes into their body will not agree with this procedure.
A future where employees are pressured to have chips like the ones 32M is offering, even if it’s technically voluntary, is not a step in the right direction.
This is why it’s highly important to establish a new standard as soon as possible, which should include individual ownership and control over all implants, as well as widespread literacy on what exactly they can do and how they work.
Image source: The African Exponent