We've Been Having the Wrong Human Microchip Conversation
Is this one step closer to advancement ... or the beginning of a totalitarian world order? The dangers are not worth the convenience we think we're getting.
Garegin Nahapetyan | a Learn4Life CLMI fellow
For years, we’ve viewed the microchip through the lens of both science fiction movies and the technological toys we enjoy. We dreamed of future lives made easier. Many have also viewed it through uncertain pandemic world we’ve lived through. We never really thought deeply or factually about what this technology is or how it gets used - many Americans were convinced, without any basis in fact, that microchips were part of some villainous government COVID vaccine conspiracy …
As a result, we haven’t looked circumstantially at recent advancements in microchipping. Never did many of us think of something like human microchipping - outside of something cinematic or as a conspiracy theory - that could be injected fast or casually into human society with mass public consent. Perhaps we’ve been engaged in the wrong microchip conversation.
But, yes, human microchip implants do exist. A human microchip implant, about the size of an elongated grain of rice, is an identifying integrated device encased in silicate glass and implanted in the human body. These devices can also hold your finances, your health status, and many other things. They give you easy and quick access to your money when you are paying for your groceries with just a move of your hand. Instead of showing your ID card or passport in the airport, you can simply pass through a scanner which will pick up your identification in an instant.
It’s all about processing daily activities in a way that’s fast.
How fast that future unfolds all depends on the growth of the semiconductor industry, or rather the brains of the computer industry. A microchip doesn’t exist with the semiconductor substance. So far, that industry continues to grow, which means the microchipping business is booming (despite some pandemic and post-pandemic slow down) - or, at least, it’s about to …
In addition, as a recent Propeller Insights survey of European consumers found, more people want to use these things - even as some people remain skeptical about them. For the average consumer, it’s all about convenience …
What many consumers want, in a few words, is a short-range radio frequency powered device which holds everything that’s in your wallet on a digital blockchain. Consider this: Hence, “the new world order” will be a place with no more need for cash money, credit and debit cards, or ID cards stuffed in your wallet anymore. Still: On the other hand, it can also give the ability to track your movement, and your location at whatever time by whomever needs it. When we think of that, is this innovation really a good idea? What will the outcomes of this global change be in the long run?
Microchip Carriers are Compromised
Futurist Richard Van Hooijdonk warns us about health issues through some rather worrisome predictions about human microchips, including - but not limited to - the remote possibility of cancer. There are also issues with “… the potential risks associated with certain pharmaceuticals and the issue of electrosurgical and electromagnetic interference with devices and defibrillators.”
These chips do operate on radio frequencies. If that’s the case, we should expect that risks may include electrical hazards, adverse tissue reactions, infections and incompatibility with medical equipment. For example, during an MRI scan session, patients are told to put away or store any of their belongings that are made up of metal or have a metal substance in them. What would they do with the microchip implanted in their hand when they need an essential MRI scan? Van Hooijdonk suggested that research studies from 2007 have indicated that implanted microchips have caused cancer within up to 10 percent of lab animals implanted with the chips. Even though this is a relatively small percentage for a potential health risk for a microchip implant, the fact remains that an RFID chip possesses some level of potential of a health hazard for the carrier.
Giving Away Too Much
There are also concerns about how RFID chips reveal too much information to the government or any other state and corporate actors. Various entities can draw up a carrier's location both current and past, not taking the carrier’s opinion about that into consideration. With digital money, consumers may be barred from buying certain products based on the demographic profile in the RFID chip. For example: if a person is one week away from becoming 21 years old, the legal age for buying alcohol, and wants to buy a drink for his uncle just because he asked him to buy, he will not be able to buy it because the RFID chip has determined he is not within the legal age range yet. And the chart is not limited to these only. What if microchips become mandatory by law in order to gain citizenship, to travel, to get insurance, and most importantly to buy or sell a wide range of essential products?
As modern societies grow with technological innovations, so do the rates of online theft worldwide. When all personal finances and other information go digital, people’s personal data can become more vulnerable to compromise, theft, or corruption by online hackers. Personal data will eventually be stored on a digital blockchain which makes them not only readable, but also writable. Hackers will have the ability to do a lot of things with people’s information.
The use of RFID chips is enormously problematic. There is no clear indication this trend will result in a positive outcome, with pronounced negatives outweighing overstated positives. Perhaps we should keep consumption habits the way they are now. We’d much rather be complaining about the bulky wallet in our pocket than having our life destroyed by a hacker who’s cracked through a microchip sitting under our skin.