The Emergence of Human Identity Chips
The concept of human identity chips – once a popular feature of dystopian science fiction novels – is now a fast-becoming reality in today’s technologically advanced world. The mention of identity chips immediately paints images of futuristic societies with citizens sporting embedded microchips, an idea no longer as far-fetched as it might seem a couple of years ago.
Indeed, in our steadily digitising world, microchip implants are incrementally gaining ground.
These minuscule devices are highly advanced pieces of technology typically inserted beneath the skin, designed to carry and transceiver a unique identification number. The distinct code is connected to an external database, which can store an astonishingly wide range of data, from an individual’s comprehensive medical history to intricate credit card details.
However, the emergence of this technology, which blurs the line between human beings and machines, simultaneously sparks a series of ethical debates that call for attention and resolution.
Microchip Implants: From a Novel Concept to Tangible Reality
The evolution journey of human microchip implants is unquestionably intriguing. This futuristic technology owes its inception to the efforts of the British scientist Kevin Warwick. Warwick pioneered the initial experiments on the radio-frequency identification (RFID) implant in 1998.
The primary applications of his groundbreaking implant revolved around performing simple tasks such as operating doors, illuminating lights, and activating voice responses within a building.
However, the present-day scope of such implants far surpasses these elementary utilities.
Dsruptive Subdermals, a forward-thinking company, recently tested a COVID-19 vaccine passport in their bioglass-coated NFC microchip in 2021, illustrating how far this technology has advanced.
Prominent figures from diverse walks of life, encompassing scientists, hobbyists, and business magnates, are now acknowledging and embracing this upcoming technology.
For instance, Amal Graafstra, a hobbyist, took the leap of implanting a bioglass-encased RFID transponder into his hand in 2005. Graafstra utilised this implant for simple gatekeeping tasks such as accessing his office, home, and personal car. His active interest and involvement in microchip technology gave rise to Dangerous Things, a pioneering biohacking company.
The Diversity of Microchip Implants
Microchip implants display a remarkable range of diversity, each with its unique bundle of features applicable in multiple areas. Some widely recognised types include brain implants, sub-dermal implants (tucked under the skin), dermal implants (on the skin), and dental implants.
The far-reaching potential of these implants is displayed brilliantly in their multifaceted functionality. These chips can store contact information, serve as a key for physical and digital locks, be used as a digital wallet for cryptocurrencies, and even hold medical records, demonstrating just how varied their uses can be.
The Future of Human Identity Chips
While exciting, the futuristic image of human identity chips also brings a host of potential uses and inevitable concerns. Promising applications for these chips include implementation as a central bank digital currency (CBDC), electronic identification (eID), and the contemporary concept of immunity passports.
However, this technology is not without its critics. Detractors argue that such advancements could be manipulated to orchestrate political repression, with governments potentially using implants to monitor and persecute political opponents.
Also, there exist serious reservations about the infringement of privacy and security vulnerabilities. The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) of the American Medical Association published an insightful report in 2007, revealing potential privacy infringements associated with RFID-implanted chips. Other medical risks include infections due to flawed implantation techniques, rejection by the body, or the corrosion of implant elements.
Looking to the Future
Human identity chips are a captivating prospect for the future, potentially revolutionising many facets of human life. However, as we progressively welcome this technology, addressing the ethical implications and consequential risks becomes increasingly crucial.
An open dialogue should be encouraged to ensure these issues are adequately discussed and the technology is implemented responsibly. Will human identity chips serve as a boon or a bane as technology steers us into the future? Only time will tell.
How We Can Help
Let us be your trusted partner in navigating the complexities of the digital landscape and unlocking the full potential of technology for your organisation.