The first step of many

Global News recently published a story about a Swedish company that is implanting rice-grain-sized chips in their employees’ hands to “function as swipe cards: to open doors, operate printers, or buy smoothies with a wave of the hand.” What’s more, the employees are welcoming it with open arms.

Some of the comments that readers made on the site brought to mind images of a dystopian future and quoted Biblical scripture calling for a return to the days when the government and big business stayed out of our homes and our bodies. This made me wonder if we are maybe sounding the alarm a little late in the game when it comes to personal information.

To those of you declaring this to be an invasion of privacy: consider that your comments on news web sites have your first and last names, your occupations, where you live and in most cases, photos of yourselves. Additionally, your names link to your Facebook pages where you have pictures of family and friends along with intimate details about your lives like when you went on vacation, new jobs that you started and your political leanings. If  you think no one is using that information already, think again!

StatsCan tracks countless statistics on everything from how many Canadian homes have Internet connectivity to the output of caesium mines in Manitoba. Plus, remember all of that information that you are sure that you “chose” to keep or give away on the Internet? StatsCan is tracking that too. Imagine what information you have given to your local chain of grocery stores or online book store or your phone carrier or even your bank.

Now, I can hear you saying, “But we have free will. We can make informed decisions about the information we share before we share it and with an implanted chip, we lose that right.” Really? You make a sober, conscientious effort to apply deliberate scrutiny to every single post you make? I wonder then why the Internet is choking on an endless barrage of selfies and pictures of people’s food.

Let’s say you really ARE that diligent…what about your friends and their friends and so on and so on. You don’t know what they are sharing or how it implicates you and, once you find out, what are you really going to do about it? If everyone is so diligent, why do apps like Snapchat even exist other than to help alleviate that inevitable sense of dread that you get when you know you have made a terrible mistake by posting something you should never have posted.

Our definition of privacy is changing constantly and for the most part, it is being driven by technology and our desire to adopt it into our lives. Most people can’t leave the house without taking their phones with them and “sharing” everything they see and do and think. Sure, we COULD put it down and walk away from it for the day but DO we? Ever? Are these chips really THAT different?

For the story, go to:
Swedish company turns its employees into ‘cyborgs,’ and they love it

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