For the first time, a company in the U.S will be microchipping their employees to start a new kind of workplace in the United States – one where everyday office chores are completed in mere seconds with a feeble wave of a hand.
A U.S based company in Wisconsin has recently announced that it will microchip 50 voluntary employees next week. Three Square Market (32M) is the company that is leading this new advancement of technology in the U.S – following Swedish technological giant Epicenter in welcoming a new world of RFID technology.
CEO of 32M, Todd Westby, recently released a press statement on the purpose of microchipping his employees: “We foresee the use of RFID technology to drive everything from making purchases in our office break room market, opening doors, use of copy machines, logging into our office computers, unlocking phones, sharing business cards, storing medical/health information, and used as payment at other RFID terminals.” The chips use near-field communication(NFC), which is the same technology used in credit cards and animal tag implants, among many other uses.
According to Westby, when the announcement was made, he was met with excitement and reluctance from his employees. However, in the very end, more than half elected to take part in being voluntarily ‘chipped’. The cost of one implant is no mere sum – $300 US dollars for one employee. This sum is fully paid for by the company, which offers a wealth of benefits in return – such as no longer needed access key cards, etc. Westby confidently claims that these implants are unhackable unless one decides to chop off the finger that holds the implant. He claims that the chip does not include a GPS and has no internet connectivity. To prove his point, CEO Westby has claimed that his wife and children will also be going through the microchipping process.
Not everyone is thrilled that this idea has come to the U.S. There are many concerns over the trade off between security and convenience, an issue that has been debated by many. On the one hand, some don’t see the issue of their privacy being infringed on; but on the other, they feel that the trade off is not worth it at all and that things should remain as they are – we have been surviving without such technology for years, so why start now? The fight and balance between these two opinions is a valid and pressing issue that remains unsolved.