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Chips: High tech aids or tracking tools?

By TODD LEWAN, AP NATIONAL WRITER

CityWatcher.com, a provider of surveillance equipment, attracted little notice itself – until a year ago, when two of its employees had glass-encapsulated microchips with miniature antennas embedded in their forearms.

HumanChipping

The “chipping” of two workers with RFIDs – radio frequency identification tags as long as two grains of rice, as thick as a toothpick – was merely a way of restricting access to vaults that held sensitive data and images for police departments, a layer of security beyond key cards and clearance codes, the company said.

“To protect high-end secure data, you use more sophisticated techniques,” Sean Darks, chief executive of the Cincinnati-based company, said. He compared chip implants to retina scans or fingerprinting. “There’s a reader outside the door; you walk up to the reader, put your arm under it, and it opens the door.”

Innocuous? Maybe.

But the news that Americans had, for the first time, been injected with electronic identifiers to perform their jobs fired up a debate over the proliferation of ever-more-precise tracking technologies and their ability to erode privacy in the digital age.

To some, the microchip was a wondrous invention – a high-tech helper that could increase security at nuclear plants and military bases, help authorities identify wandering Alzheimer’s patients, allow consumers to buy their groceries, literally, with the wave of a chipped hand.

To others, the notion of tagging people was Orwellian, a departure from centuries of history and tradition in which people had the right to go and do as they pleased, without being tracked, unless they were harming someone else.

Chipping, these critics said, might start with Alzheimer’s patients or Army Rangers, but would eventually be suggested for convicts, then parolees, then sex offenders, then illegal aliens – until one day, a majority of Americans, falling into one category or another, would find themselves electronically tagged. Chips: High tech aids or tracking tools?

OSA Editorial Comments:  RFID Updates!

Hello to OSA Network, CASPIAN members and friends:

The article is highlighted on the Drudge Report and is printed in over 200 newspapers and news outlets around the country, including , Business Week, Forbes, Fox News, and the .Major papers in Houston, Seattle, Denver, San Jose, Charlotte, , Kansas City, Miami, and more have picked up the story. It has even reached the UK Guardian newspaper and outlets in Canada and Australia. For a partial list, see: Major papers!

The article features a full color photo of our anti-chipping protest in West Palm Beach, Florida and a link to our new http://www.antichips.com/ website. It also features quotes by me and my Spychips co-author Liz McIntyre, and mentions our book, “Spychips: How major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID.”

For more great content, information and stories like this, please Join Us, every Monday LIVE @ 11:00 MST for:

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