Three Square Market, (32M) is offering implanted chip technology to all of their employees on August 1st, 2017. 32M is a technology company specializing in RFID technology, touting its application as a vehicle to enhance identity protection. Employees will be implanted with a RFID chip allowing them to make purchases in their break room micro market, open doors, login to computers, use the copy machine, etc. This program, offered by 32M, is optional for all employees. The company is expecting over 50 staff members to be voluntarily chipped. The big picture with this technology is providing convenience to its chip holders for everything they would use a credit, debit or personnel ID card for in the workplace. Is it the next best thing or another chapter in George Orwell's best seller, 1984?
How it Works
RFID technology or Radio-Frequency Identification uses electromagnetic fields to identify electronically stored information. Often referred to as “chip” technology, this option has become very popular in the European marketplace. The chip implant uses near-field communications (NFC); the same technology used in contactless credit cards and mobile payments. A chip is implanted between the thumb and forefinger underneath the skin within seconds. The implant is benign to the surrounding tissue and can be removed as easily as a splinter. On the surface it sounds like a comfortable convenience and perhaps it is just that. If, however this implanted device can be programmed with information such as your employee identification and credit card information could it be programmed with other information as well? The answer is yes. The programming power lay in the hands of those who have access to the individual employee chips. The convenience and personal identity protection could easily be compromised by those who have access to the management of the system. One of the first companies to offer this RFID implant technology was Digital Angel during the first internet boom of the early 2000's. The first application was for pets. They offered to implant you dog, cat or whatever so you could track it if it were ever stolen. Also the chip would store the pets medical information. I was immediately interested in using the application to safeguard my precious pet but it's limited availability made it impractical.
The Dangers Of RFID Technology
The growth of this, now, billion-dollar RFID market is prompting industry experts, from consumer advocates to company executive specializing in RFID protection, to question whether the technology can be made adequately secure enough to meet consumer protection legislation. Industry watch groups have identified three categories of RFID threats. The first is what they describe as unscrupulous retailers, who use RFID programs like frequent shopper cards to amass personal data about you and your purchases in order to more effectively target you for future sales and marketing efforts. The second category, a threat largely ignored by many commercial and government entities in the early stages of this technology, is hackers. For every programmer there are dozens of hackers waiting to compromise the system. Like all wireless communications, cell phone, wifi, or RFID the convenience is offset by the fact that the signal is out there, largely unprotected, for anyone to intercept. The same kinds of cryptographic techniques that make credit card transactions secure on the Internet can be used to prevent these attacks, but many of the systems have varying levels of security. The third threat to RFID technology is Government. US authorities want to put RFID chips in driver's licenses for the stated goal of speeding up US border-crossing lines in Mexico and Canada. Privacy experts caution that these spy-friendly forms of ID likely will evolve into something more nefarious. If you carry one of these licenses in your wallet or purse, you can be tracked and stalked without your knowledge or consent. To keep up to date on these topics and many more please subscribe to our blog @ http://www.land-link.com/blog.