News that a Wisconsin firm that makes vending machine software is running a program that puts small microchips under the skin of employees has a lot of folks talking about the idea.
Employees at Three Square Market were offered the chance to have small microchips injected just under their skin. Why would they volunteer? Well, these RFID chips let you skip things like key cards. Users can just walk through secure doors. They can also allow you to skip password log-ons to computers. And since this is a vending machine company, you can skip the cash and purchase things from the vending machine with just a wave. If this sounds an awful lot like some of the functions you can do with a smartphone, it is. Except on the phone, you’d need to download a smart lock app, a payment app, a password app etc… More than 60% of Three Square Market’s employees volunteered to be chipped. The chip this company used was inserted in their hand between the thumb and forefinger.
With this microchip under your skin, you don’t need to carry anything. This type of technology is already in use for identifying pets.
Many security experts have said that chips under the skin or swallowed in pills are a great alternative to passwords because they’d be pretty hard to hack. It would be especially useful for those working in high-security industries. And they also argue that a chip under the skin is really no different than a key card. It’s just a lot harder to lose. The chip would be deactivated when you left the job, so it would be useless and removal is fairly simple.
Others have suggested that individuals could be assigned RFID numbers matched to their Social Security numbers that they could take with them their whole lives. They could deactivate permissions when they left jobs or changed banks. Theoretically, a chip like that could log you on anywhere, pay for your groceries, log you on without ever having to remember a password, start your car, carry your emergency medical information, and a whole lot more.
But the big question would be, just who maintains this database? And when could law enforcement agencies access the information?
But as security continues to be a huge concern for companies and government agencies, expect to see many of them consider an option like this. There’s no phishing the password for a chip with a fake link.
Others say devices like this are a great idea for kids or those with some type of memory or cognitive disability that makes them prone to getting lost. Or it’s been suggested as a tool for tracking those on probation or parole. Putting it under the skin means that the chip can’t be easily removed either by the person that’s been chipped or someone intending to do them harm.
What do you think? Does the idea of never needing a password again appeal to you? Could this be a great solution for those with memory problems? Or is this Big Brother at work? Let us know what you think the comments.