Cyborgs at Work: Employees Getting Implanted with Microchips

April 3rd, 2017

Like many of you out there, I first heard about this technology in the 1990s. Decades later, a passive microchip implant seems like a practically innocuous fairy tale compared to the privacy hell that has metastasized all around us.

In terms of technologies of political control, think of a chip implant as something like a Soviet era Skoda. A modern “smartphone” would look like the Starship Enterprise in comparison.

At first glance, one might think that the chip implant’s lack of capabilities are to blame.

The chip implant can’t record your conversations, and other audio in its vicinity.

The chip implant doesn’t have multiple video cameras to watch you and your surroundings.

The chip implant doesn’t serve as an extension of your brain, recording all of your searches, shopping habits, web activity, etc.

The chip implant doesn’t help the state create a proximity chart of your social network.

The list goes on and on…

But the most disturbing advantage that the smartphone has over a chip implant (as a technology of political control) is that, while the chip implant remains creepy, even after decades of fluff media stories promoting it, like the one below, even people who know better tend to own smartphones. I’d guess that the overwhelming majority of smartphone owners, maybe 99% of them, not only don’t know about the diabolical privacy threats posed by smartphones, but wouldn’t care anyway.

So, scoff at the imbeciles who willingly take the chip, as you read this (and I write this) using an operating system from Microsoft or Apple, or a Linux operating system on a device compromised down to the silicon, or perhaps on a jewel encrusted crack pipe, tamper proof vending machine, designed-from-the-start-as-a-surveillance-platform mobile device.

This is definitely tipping over into another self loathing and pointless rant about a hopeless situation, so I’ll stop here.

Have a nice day.

Via: AP:

The syringe slides in between the thumb and index finger. Then, with a click, a microchip is injected in the employee’s hand. Another “cyborg” is created.

What could pass for a dystopian vision of the workplace is almost routine at the Swedish startup hub Epicenter. The company offers to implant its workers and startup members with microchips the size of grains of rice that function as swipe cards: to open doors, operate printers, or buy smoothies with a wave of the hand.

The injections have become so popular that workers at Epicenter hold parties for those willing to get implanted.

“The biggest benefit I think is convenience,” said Patrick Mesterton, co-founder and CEO of Epicenter. As a demonstration, he unlocks a door by merely waving near it. “It basically replaces a lot of things you have, other communication devices, whether it be credit cards or keys.”

The technology in itself is not new. Such chips are used as virtual collar plates for pets. Companies use them to track deliveries. It’s just never been used to tag employees on a broad scale before. Epicenter and a handful of other companies are the first to make chip implants broadly available.

4 Responses to “Cyborgs at Work: Employees Getting Implanted with Microchips”

  1. Dennis Says:

    Perhaps the two will come together.

    The chip would end up being a kind of key. Without it, you mightn’t be able to access all the juicy convenience and shiny stuff: purchases, medical care, perhaps access to public institutions such as museums and libraries, shared spaces like movie theatres, public transport…and self-driving cars. It could function within private institutions along the same lines as the article above (unlocking doors, etc.), privately as a key for your door, a PIN for your phone, etc., and elsewhere as the state dictates. Surveillance continues as per usual, only this way it forces participation by a greater number of people.

    There was a time people successfully sued employers for the right to be paid in cash, the argument being that they should not be forced to have a business arrangement with a third party in order to receive what was theirs. Other similar cases were tried. I don’t know how well such a case would go down now; Bank ‘membership’ is as essential in urban life now as having ID or a passport. Barring widespread use of biometrics, I could easily see chips being seen as essential in future. Even with biometrics, chips could serve as part of a 2-step verification process.

  2. anothernut Says:

    “The biggest benefit I think is convenience…” Yep, that’s how the mark of the beast will be sold, to the convenience-addicted masses. And once there are enough “volunteers” with the chips, it will become mandatory for everyone else. All of us, perfectly trackable.

  3. Eileen Says:

    The only good thing I’ve read about implants are when a lost pet is found and returned to their owners even years later after lost. Even then I am not sure I would want my cat to have a chip pulsing electronic signals in him. Can’t believe people are so damn lazy about using badges, passwords, or real money for access or what they want. So far, no smart phone here. But privacy? Shit. Google and Amazon have all of my emails and my shopping history. So smart phone or not, I’m “out” there too. Old VHS showed itself in the house this past week or so. “Brazil” 1985 – the trailer doesn’t show it but its all about the 24 hour surveillance state. Prescient.

  4. soothing hex Says:

    “Ironically, rather than protecting their wearers from kidnapping, implantable security devices may actually turn their wearers into tempting targets for Mexico’s notorious kidnapping gangs, especially as the chips migrate to serve as payment devices, says Albrecht. “What could be more inviting to kidnappers than a chip that offers access to secure areas or someone’s bank account? If criminals want to get ahold of a chip, they will naturally try to nab a person wearing one.”

    The potentially gruesome implications of being probed for an implanted chip are obvious, said Albrecht. She points out that at least one Mexican kidnapping gang, a group nicknamed “el chip” for its interest in RFID implants, is focused on the technology. According to recent reports, its members have stripped kidnapping victims and demanded to be told where they have chips implanted in their bodies.”

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