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PositiveID Corporation
Industry Healthcare and information management
Founded 2009
Headquarters Delray Beach, FL, USA
Revenue Decrease US$ 43 thousand (2008)[1]
Decrease US$ -13.9 million (2008)[1]
Decrease US$ -13.1 million (2008)[1]
Total assets Decrease US$ 3.5 million (2008)[1]
Parent Digital Angel
Website PositiveID Corp.

PositiveID (formerly VeriChip) is a biological detection systems developer for America’s homeland defense industry and developer of rapid medical testing technology. It is most known for developing the only Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved human-implantable microchip of the same name (formerly VeriChip). The PositiveID chip received United States FDA approval in 2004. In 2010, its manufacture and marketing were halted until further notice.[2]

About twice the length of a dime, the device is typically implanted between the shoulder and elbow area of an individual’s right arm.[3] Once scanned at the proper frequency, the PositiveID responds with a unique 16-digit number which could be then linked with information about the user held on a database for identity verification, medical records access and other uses. The insertion procedure is performed under local anesthetic in a physician's office. As an implanted device used for identification by a third party, it had generated controversy and debate. VeriChip's merger in 2010 officially changed their name to "PositiveID".

Destron Fearing, a subsidiary of Digital Angel, initially developed the technology for the PositiveID.[4]

Company history[edit]

PositiveID, formerly known as VeriChip Corporation, was formed in 2009 through the merger of VeriChip and Steel Vault Corporation. At the time of the merger in November 2009, the company changed its name to PositiveID Corporation.[5]

In May 2011, PositiveID acquired California-based MicroFluidic Systems (MFS), founded in 2001, which specializes in the development and production of automated instruments for detecting and processing biological samples.[6] MFS’ core technology is used for airborne pathogen detection, rapid clinical diagnostics, and sample preparation applications.[6]


Privacy concerns[edit]

Certain privacy advocates have raised concerns regarding potential abuse of PositiveID, with some warning that adoption by governments as a compulsory identification program could lead to erosion of civil liberties.[7] In addition, it has been shown that PositiveID's lack of security features made it susceptible to cloning,[8] which could present a risk of identity theft. At the same time if these security features were to be increased the chips could begin to play a major role in Identity Theft protection. Three states in the United States of America have passed anti-chipping legislation, protecting against mandated implantation.[9] These states are California, Wisconsin, and North Dakota.

Health effects[edit]

According to Wired News online,[10] and the Associated Press,[11] there have been research articles over the last ten years that found a connection between the chips and possible cancer. When mice and rats were injected with glass-encapsulated RFID transponders, like those made by PositiveID, they "developed malignant, fast-growing, lethal cancers in up to 1% to 10% of cases" at the site at which the microchip was injected or to which it had migrated. However, the 10% rate was obtained with hemizygous p53-deficient mice, the counterpart of humans with the Li-Fraumeni syndrome, and rates near 1% were more typical.[12] The PositiveID corporation responded to this report, which caused a 40% drop in their stock value, by stating that rodent data had been provided to the FDA and did not reflect the effect of the chips in humans or pets.[13] Dogs, alternatively, are more resistant to the formation of malignant soft tissue tumors in response to foreign body insult. Induction of sarcomas by foreign bodies has been reported in humans,[14][15][16][17] and has been described as analogous to rodent foreign body-associated sarcomas and is fairly infrequent. Resolution of the question may be hindered by the long delay in onset of sarcoma induction or other deleterious side effects, analogous to the controversy in the mid 20th century over asbestos exposure and predisposition to pleural abnormalities such as malignant mesothelioma.[18]

Tommy Thompson, the former Secretary of Health and Human Services, supported PositiveID as a "useful tool in sharing medical information with health care providers in emergency situations". Thompson sat on the board of directors of PositiveID's parent company, Digital Angel, for two years. In June 2007, the American Medical Association declared that "implantable radio frequency identification (RFID) devices may help to identify patients, thereby improving the safety and efficiency of patient care, and may be used to enable secure access to patient clinical information".[19]

According to the FDA, implantation of PositiveID poses potential medical downsides.[20] Electrical hazards, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) incompatibility, adverse tissue reaction, and migration of the implanted transponder are just a few of the potential risks associated with the PositiveID implant device, according to an October 12, 2004 letter issued by the FDA,[21][22] which stated that "electrical currents may be induced in conductive metal implants that can cause potentially severe patient burns."

The Discovery Channel's MythBusters explored whether an RFID tag will explode if placed inside an MRI. The Build Team inserted an RFID tag into pig flesh and placed inside the MRI, but failed to get any results. Team member Kari Byron then had an RFID tag placed inside her arm and was placed inside the MRI. The RFID appeared unaffected, and left Kari seemingly unharmed.[23]

Religious concerns[edit]

Some activists, including Mark Dice, the author of a book titled The Resistance Manifesto, make a link between the PositiveID and the Biblical Mark of the Beast,[24][25] prophesied to be a future requirement for buying and selling,[26] and a key element of the Book of Revelation.[27][28]

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

— Revelation 13:16-17, King James Version Bible

Gary Wohlscheid, president of These Last Days Ministries, has argued that "Out of all the technologies with potential to be the mark of the beast, PositiveID has got the best possibility right now".[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "2008 10-K". EDGAR System. US SEC. Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  2. ^ Edwards, Jim. "Down With the Chip: PositiveID Axes Its Scary Medical Records". bNET. July 15, 2010. Retrieved March 2, 2017
  3. ^ "Verichip Consumer FAQ". Archived from the original on August 2, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  4. ^ Smith, Richard M. “Tough Sell Ahead for the VeriChip Implant ID System.”Archived October 25, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., Computer Bytes Man. 27 Dec. 2001. 16 Oct. 2007
  5. ^ "VeriChip Corporation Completes Acquisition of Steel Vault Corporation: Corporation to Be Named PositiveID, Better Reflecting the Focus On Developing Rapid Virus Detection System For the H1N1 Virus and Glucose-Sensing RFID Microchip". PositiveID Corp. November 10, 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "About Us". PositiveID Corporation. Archived from the original on 2 September 2014. [self-published source]
  7. ^ "Why Advocates and Lawmakers Are Concerned About Involuntary Microchipping". 
  8. ^ "Demo: Cloning a PositiveID". 
  9. ^ "Bodily Integrity Act – Protective Legislation to prevent Mandatory Implantation". 
  10. ^ Bruce Sterling (2007-09-08). "Arphid Watch: Arphid Cancer.". Wired News. 
  11. ^ Todd Lewan (2007-09-08). "Though FDA approved, microchip implants linked to animal cancer". Associated Press. 
  12. ^ Summaries and fair use copies of all 11 scientific publications are available at the CASPIAN site "Antichips.com". .
  13. ^ "Rodent Sarcomagenesis" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 24, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Foreign body-induced angiosarcoma 60 years after a shell splinter injury". Mund Kiefer Gesichtschir. 10 (6): 415–8. November 2006. doi:10.1007/s10006-006-0026-4. PMID 17006674. 
  15. ^ "Mediastinal malignant fibrous histiocytoma developing from a foreign body granuloma". Jpn. J. Thorac. Cardiovasc. Surg. 53 (10): 583–6. October 2005. doi:10.1007/s11748-005-0074-y. PMID 16279594. 
  16. ^ "Epitheloid angiosarcoma of the splenic capsula as a result of foreign body tumorigenesis. A case report". Acta Chir. Belg. 104 (2): 217–20. April 2004. PMID 15154584. 
  17. ^ "The carcinogenic potential of biomaterials in hernia surgery". Chirurg. 73 (8): 833–7. August 2002. PMID 12425161. 
  18. ^ Lewan, Todd (September 8, 2007). "Chip Implants Linked to Animal Tumours". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-03-02. 
  19. ^ "American Medical Association CEJA Report 5-A-07". 
  20. ^ http://www.spychips.com/press-releases/verichip-fda.html "FDA Letter Raises Questions About VeriChip Safety, Data Security: Implantable RFID device 'poses potential risks to health'"
  21. ^ http://www.spychips.com/devices/verichip-fda-report.html CASPIAN Special Report, October 19, 2004: FDA Letter Raises Questions about VeriChip Safety, Data Security
  22. ^ Primer on Medical Device Interactions with Magnetic Resonance Imaging Systems
  23. ^ MythBusters Episode 87, aired September 5th 2007
  24. ^ Streitfield, David (9 May 2002). "First Humans to Receive ID Chips; Technology: Device injected under the skin will provide identification and medical information.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 13 September 2010. 
  25. ^ Gilbert, Alorie (16 February 2005). "Is RFID the mark of the beast?". CNET News. Retrieved 13 September 2010. 
  26. ^ "Revelation 14:9-11". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  27. ^ Albrecht, Katherine; McIntyre, Liz (2006-01-31). The Spychips Threat: Why Christians Should Resist RFID and Electronic Surveillance. Nelson Current. ISBN 1-59555-021-6. 
  28. ^ Baard, Mark (2006-06-06). "RFID: Sign of the (End) Times?". Wired.com. Retrieved 2009-10-13. 
  29. ^ Scheeres, Julia (6 February 2002). "They Want Their ID Chips Now". Wired News. Retrieved 13 September 2010. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Katherine Albrecht, Liz McIntyre, Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID, Nelson Current, 2005 (ISBN 1-59555-020-8).
  • Haag, Stephen; Cummings, Maeve,; McCubbrey, Donald (2004). Management Information Systems for the Information Age (4th ed.). New York City, New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-281947-2. 

External links[edit]