This one seems too strange to be true … but there are numerous reports that Cincinnati video surveillance company CityWatcher.com now requires employees to use Verichip human implantable microchips to enter a secure data center. The story was first reported by SpyChips (a consumer group that opposes the use of RFID), and has since been picked up by The Register, Security Focus and now Slashdot. SpyChips quotes a company IT manager as confirming the use of the chip. Here’s a description:
The VeriChip is a glass encapsulated RFID tag that is injected into the flesh of the triceps area of the arm to uniquely number and identify individuals. The tag can be read through a person’s clothing, silently and invisibly, by radio waves from a few inches away. The highly controversial device is being marketed as a way to access secure areas, link to medical records, and serve as a payment instrument when associated with a credit card.
It should be noted that SpyChips’ Liz McIntyre and Katherine Albrecht are marketing a book about RFID, and are Christians who oppose implantable RFID chips as the potential “mark of the Beast” from the Bible’s book of Revelation. Nonetheless, if the facts are accurate, this is bound to become a hot topic and quickly move discussion of RFID, privacy and employee rights onto the national stage.