Ohio Employees Have a Chip On Their Forearm

Most people don’t mind wearing a security badge to work, but CityWatcher.com’s new employee identity verification system may be the first of its kind: RFID microchip implants. The Cincinnati-based video surveillance firm has “chipped” a couple of its employees, implanting glass-encased RFID transmitters in their forearms. The chips act much like current RFID badging technologies, granting the chipped employees access to restricted areas—the main difference seems to be that a determined thief would have to cut the chip out of the employee instead of simply making off with their badge. Makes the $10 badge replacement fee pale in comparison, we think.

Only about 70 people in the United States have been implanted with microchips, and of those virtually all have been (ostensibly) for medical reasons. Depending on the brand of crazy you subscribe to, you might think this is just another mind control method, or even that it is the infamous mark of the beast. The more rational of us realize that there’s good and bad in any technology and, like everything else, a judgement can only be made after we see how it is used. As a replacement for easily lost or stolen pieces of plastic that grant access to sensitive areas, this tech could be a winner. As a national ID that ties into our bank and credit accounts and is required for any kind of commerce, well, we’re neither deeply religious nor hexakosioihexekontahexaphobic, but count us out.

US group implants electronic tags in workers [Financial Times via Smart Mobs]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.