Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) devices are used to transfer data from a tag attached to an object for the purposes of automatic identification and tracking. In the past RFID chips have been used mainly in pets and livestock, however recently RFID implantation in humans has been advertised as being "the norm" in American Society. This implantation will supposedly enhance lifestyle through technology; giving ordinary citizens the magic that makes security gates swing open without swiping a card, and bridge and tunnel traffic flow smoothly without an E-ZPass. While also allowing individuals to log onto computers, open doors, unlock their cars, obtain access to bank account information, social security numbers, and other personal information all with the wave of a hand.
The New York Times article entitled "High Tech, Under the Skin" discusses the trend of RFID chip implantation known as being "tagged". Mr. Donelson, a 21-year-old computer networking student who has recently been tagged justifies this action by comparing the RFID chip to a cellphone stating; "People are already using their cellphones as an extension of their communication ability, it is pretty much a part of you anyway." The way these tiny silicone device's work is very simple, they come with an encoded string of numbers identifying your information, which are are read by a scanner two to four inches away much like a bar code except the chips don't need to be visible to be read.
Other forms of publicity for the RFID chip include television commercials such as this one, which glamorizes and advocates the chip by showing ordinary individuals of different ages, and ethnicities accepting it.
Despite the potential benefits of the RFID chip there are various rumors of negativity associated with it. Conspiracy theorists suggest that in 2013 the chip will be mandated by Obama's healthcare plan, and will then be used as a means of control by the government. This Forbes article discusses the potential threat of the RFID chip. Privacy advocates have long warned that the chips could allow individuals to be tracked by governments and corporations, and they could possibly be accessed by scammers to obtain one's personal information.
What is your opinion on RFID chips? Do you see a future where being tagged is a normal practice amongst Americans? Will the RFID chip be beneficial or threatening to society? These are all questions which will be answered as the future of RFID implantation unfolds.