Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Chip and Dip

Our cats have microchips implanted, just in case they ever decide to call a cab and jet out for a weekend in Paws Vegas or something.  Having the microchip makes it easier for a veterinarian or Animal Control agency to identify a pet and its owner and veterinary status.  This is needed because you can't get a cat to carry a wallet with an ID card.  And they always claim not to have a dime on them anyway.

But would you want to be microchipped? You, a human being? 

Up in cheeseland Wisconsin, people at a certain company are getting a chip (about the size of a grain of rice) installed in their hands right between the thumb and pointer finger.  This will replace door cards for building and area access, computer logons, and showing a credit card for buying a Hershey bar or a 5-hour energy caffeinator from the employee store. 

It's one of those newfangled tech companies called Three Square Market, where CEO Todd Westby says more than 50 of the 80 employees voluntarily went for the implants. They weren't required, but, just like in 7th grade, if all the cool kids are getting them...

This is a technology called RFID (radio frequency identification) which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2004.  BioHax International (quick! buy some shares of their stock!) handled the technicals on this.

Westby said that, as you might imagine, when the idea was first broached, no one exactly broke their neck to stick out their hand, but after people were reassured that there is no GPS tracking device inherent, they were amenable.

Image result for mr dithers
Mr Dithers
You can understand the concern if you thought your boss could track you all the time. No one wants Mr Dithers to know where they are late on a Saturday night.  Most people don't even want the boss to know where they are at 9 on a weekday morning.
Image result for microchip employees
Microchip poses next to dime
for size comparison. Jim Croce
always said you can keep the dime.

But fear not, according to Westby: "There's really nothing to hack in it, because it is encrypted just like credit cards are ... The chances of hacking into it are almost nonexistent because it's not connected to the internet," he said. "The only way for somebody to get connectivity to it is to basically chop off your hand."

Holy Cowchip! One minute he's talking about how safe this is, and the next, he mentions chopping off hands.

I don't work anymore, if I ever did, so I won't be faced with the choice of being chipulated or not.

I wonder if my old keycard still works.

No comments: