The Human R.F.I.D. Chip

When I first heard about this, a person putting a computer chip into their arm, I thought why would anyone want to do such a thing to themselves? I know most of my friends would first say that there are huge privacy issues with having such as thing implanted into your arm radiating all of your biometric data and identity for anyone to scan, download and save. With privacy issues asides, what about the risk of infection and other complications with having a foreign object stuffed inside your body for long periods of time. Is having an RFID chip (Radio Frequency Identification) really that necessary?

When I watched this video of Dr. John Halamka talking about open source software and the value of having Red Hat as a partner in the medical community, he was really serious about this whole concept of having the chip implanted inside him. Naturally, the video focuses on the operations of Internet Technology and the hospitals’ administration operations, but I just could not get my mind off of the applications that could be done with the RFID chip.

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I can see where applications would come in handy with having the RFID Chip implanted into your arm. Dr. John Halamka mentions that he likes to mountain climb, so if he was ever in an avalanche or found unconscious, the chip would give the attending physician all of the necessary data to know “who he was” while being treated. On the same page, any emergency, law enforcement, or rescue personnel could easily gather the correct data that they need when they find someone out in the middle of mountains who cannot speak or is dead.

So should something like this be mandatory for all mountain climbers? Should the RFID chip be mandatory for the rescue people, the police officers, and fire fighters who could find themselves in the same situation as the climber when they are knocked unconscious and need medical treatment? What about prisoners and inmates at a correctional facility? Perhaps children who attend school who live in the inner city, when we talk about child abduction and runaways. We would want to correctly identify them.

The idea of having the RFID chip is interesting because it would do-away with having just a wallet full of plastic cards with all of your ID data on it. I mean, if you had a chip instead of a drivers licence, then you would never forget it when you are racing out of house going to work. Maybe your debit card could be on the chip too, and all you have to do is have your arm scanned and “presto!” your groceries are paid! Better yet, you are going to the show-hall, and all you need to do is walk through the doors of the cinema that you wish to see and then sit and enjoy the film while the bill gets processed at your financial institution because they scanned your chip. I could even see employees walking through the doors to their jobs and the scanner recording when they arrived so they don’t need to punch in and out on their time-cards any more—it would be bad if they are late all the time.