Microchip implant (human)

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A surgeon implants British scientist Dr Mark Gasson in his left hand with an RFID microchip (March 16, 2009)

A human microchip implant is typically an identifying integrated circuit device or RFID transponder encased in silicate glass and implanted in the body of a human being. This type of subdermal implant usually contains a unique ID number that can be linked to information contained in an external database, such as personal identification, law enforcement, medical history, medications, allergies, and contact information.

History[edit]

The first experiments with an RFID implant were carried out in 1998 by the British scientist Kevin Warwick.[1][2][3][4][5] His implant was used to open doors, switch on lights, and cause verbal output within a building. After nine days the implant was removed and has since been held in the Science Museum (London).[citation needed]

On 16 March 2009 British scientist Mark Gasson had an advanced glass capsule RFID device surgically implanted into his left hand. In April 2010 Gasson's team demonstrated how a computer virus could wirelessly infect his implant and then be transmitted on to other systems.[6] Gasson reasoned that with implanted technology the separation between man and machine can become theoretical because the technology can be perceived by the human as being a part of their body. Because of this development in our understanding of what constitutes our body and its boundaries he became credited as being the first human infected by a computer virus. He has no plans to remove his implant.[7]

Hobbyists[edit]

An RFID tag visible under the skin soon after being implanted.

Several hobbyists have placed RFID microchip implants into their hands or had them inserted by others.

Amal Graafstra,[8] author of the book RFID Toys,[9] asked doctors to place implants in his hands in March 2005. A cosmetic surgeon used a scalpel to place a microchip in his left hand, and his family doctor injected a chip into his right hand using a veterinary Avid injector kit. Graafstra uses the implants to access his home, open car doors, and to log on to his computer. With public interest growing, in 2013 he launched biohacking company Dangerous Things[10] and crowdfunded the world's first implantable NFC transponder in 2014.[11] Spoken at various events and promotional gigs[12] including TEDx,[13] built a smartgun that only fires after reading his implant.[14]

Alejandro Hernandez CEO of Futura is known to be the first in Central America to have Dangerous Things' transponder installed in his left hand by Federico Cortes in November 2017.

Mikey Sklar had a chip implanted into his left hand and filmed the procedure.[15]

Jonathan Oxer self-implanted an RFID chip in his arm using a veterinary implantation tool.[16]

Martijn Wismeijer, Dutch marketing manager for Bitcoin ATM manufacturer General Bytes, placed RFID chips in both of his hands to store his Bitcoin private keys and business card.[17]

Patric Lanhed sent a “bio-payment” of one euro worth of Bitcoin using a chip embedded in his hand. [18]

Marcel Varallo had an NXP chip coated in Bioglass 8625 inserted into his hand between his forefinger and thumb allowing him to open secure elevators and doors at work, print from secure printers, unlock his mobile phone and home, and store his digital business card for transfer to mobile phones enabled for NFC. [19]

Biohacker Hannes Sjöblad has been experimenting with NFC (Near Field Communication) chip implants since 2015. During his talk at Echappée Voléé 2016 in Paris, Sjöblad disclosed that he has also implanted himself between his forefinger and thumb and uses it to unlock doors, make payments, and unlock his phone (essentially replacing anything you can put in your pockets).[20] Additionally, Sjöblad has hosted several "implant parties," where interested individuals can also be implanted with the chip.[21]

Commercial implants[edit]

Medical records[edit]

Destron Fearing, a subsidiary of Digital Angel, initially developed the technology for the VeriChip.[22]

In 2004, the VeriChip implanted device and reader were classified as Class II: General controls with special controls by the FDA;[23] that year the FDA also published a draft guidance describing the special controls required to market such devices.[24]

About the size of a grain of rice, the device was typically implanted between the shoulder and elbow area of an individual’s right arm. Once scanned at the proper frequency, the chip responded 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 was performed under local anesthetic in a physician's office.[25][26]

Privacy advocates raised concerns regarding potential abuse of the chip, with some warning that adoption by governments as a compulsory identification program could lead to erosion of civil liberties, as well as identity theft if the device should be hacked.[26][27][28] Another ethical dilemma posed by the technology, is that people with dementia could possibly benefit the most from an implanted device that contained their medical records, but issues of informed consent are the most difficult in precisely such people.[29]

Some Christian 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,[30][31] prophesied to be a future requirement for buying and selling,[32] and a key element of the Book of Revelation.[33][34] 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, VeriChip has got the best possibility right now".[35]

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",[36] but in the same year, news reports linking similar devices to cancer caused in laboratory animals had a devastating impact on the company's stock price and sales.[37]

In 2010, the company, by then called "PositiveID", withdrew the product from the market due to poor sales.[38]

In January 2012, PositiveID sold the chip assets to a company called VeriTeQ that was owned by Scott Silverman, the former CEO of Positive ID.[39]

In 2016, JAMM Technologies acquired the chip assets from VeriTeQ; JAMM's business plan was to partner with companies selling implanted medical devices and use the RfID tags to monitor and identify the devices.[40]

Building access and security[edit]

In February 2006, CityWatcher, Inc. of Cincinnati, OH became the first company in the world to implant microchips into their employees as part of their building access control and security system. The workers needed the implants to access the company's secure video tape room, as documented in USA Today.[41] The project was initiated and implemented by Six Sigma Security, Inc. The VeriChip Corporation had originally marketed the implant as a way to restrict access to secure facilities such as power plants.

A major drawback for such systems is the relative ease with which the 16-digit ID number contained in a chip implant can be obtained and cloned using a hand-held device, a problem that has been demonstrated publicly by security researcher Jonathan Westhues[42] and documented in the May 2006 issue of Wired magazine,[43] among other places.

  • The Baja Beach Club, a nightclub in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, once used VeriChip implants for identifying VIP guests.[44]
  • The Epicenter in Stockholm, Sweden is using RFID implants for employees to operate security doors, copiers, and pay for lunch.[45]

Possible future applications[edit]

In 2017 Mike Miller, chief executive of the World Olympians Association, was widely reported as suggesting the use of such implants in athletes in an attempt to reduce problems in sport due to drug taking.[46]

Theoretically, a GPS-enabled chip could one day make it possible for individuals to be physically located by latitude, longitude, altitude, speed, and direction of movement. Such implantable GPS devices are not technically feasible at this time. However, if widely deployed at some future point, implantable GPS devices could conceivably allow authorities to locate missing persons and/or fugitives and those who fled from a crime scene. Critics contend, however, that the technology could lead to political repression as governments could use implants to track and persecute human rights activists, labor activists, civil dissidents, and political opponents; criminals and domestic abusers could use them to stalk and harass their victims; and child abusers could use them to locate and abduct children.

Another suggested application for a tracking implant, discussed in 2008 by the legislature of Indonesia's Irian Jaya would be to monitor the activities of persons infected with HIV, aimed at reducing their chances of infecting other people.[47][48] The microchipping section was not, however, included into the final version of the provincial HIV/AIDS Handling bylaw passed by the legislature in December 2008.[49] With current technology, this would not be workable anyway, since there is no implantable device on the market with GPS tracking capability.

Since modern payment methods rely upon RFID/NFC, it is thought that implantable microchips, if they were to ever become popular in use, would form a part of the cashless society.[50] Verichip implants have already been used in nightclubs such as the Baja club for such a purpose, allowing patrons to purchase drinks with their implantable microchip.

Potential problems[edit]

Cancer[edit]

In a self-published report[51] anti-RFID advocate Katherine Albrecht, who refers to RFID devices as "spy chips", cites veterinary and toxicological studies carried out from 1996 to 2006 which found lab rodents injected with microchips as an incidental part of unrelated experiments and dogs implanted with identification microchips sometimes developed cancerous tumors at the injection site (subcutaneous sarcomas) as evidence of a human implantation risk.[52] However, the link between foreign-body tumorigenesis in lab animals and implantation in humans has been publicly refuted as erroneous and misleading[53] and the report's author has been criticized over the use of "provocative" language "not based in scientific fact".[54] Notably, none of the studies cited specifically set out to investigate the cancer risk of implanted microchips and so none of the studies had a control group of animals that did not get implanted. While the issue is considered worthy of further investigation, one of the studies cited cautioned "Blind leaps from the detection of tumors to the prediction of human health risk should be avoided".[55][56][57]

Security risks[edit]

The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) of the American Medical Association published a report in 2007 alleging that RFID implanted chips may compromise privacy because there is no assurance that the information contained in the chip can be properly protected.[58]

Legislation[edit]

United States[edit]

Following Wisconsin and North Dakota,[59] California issued Senate Bill 362 in 2007, which makes it illegal to force a person to have a microchip implanted, and provide for an assessment of civil penalties against violators of the bill.[59]

In 2008, Oklahoma passed 63 OK Stat § 63-1-1430 (2008 S.B. 47), that bans involuntary microchip implants in humans.[60][61]

On April 5, 2010, the Georgia Senate passed Senate Bill 235 that prohibits forced microchip implants in humans and that would make it a misdemeanor for anyone to require them, including employers.[62] The bill would allow voluntary microchip implants, as long as they are performed by a physician and regulated by the Georgia Composite Medical Board. The state's House of Representatives did not take up the measure.[citation needed]

On February 10, 2010, Virginia's House of Delegates also passed a bill that forbids companies from forcing their employees to be implanted with tracking devices.[63]

Washington State House Bill 1142-2009-10 orders a study using implanted radio frequency identification or other similar technology to electronically monitor sex offenders and other felons.[64]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Is human chip implant wave of the future?". CNN. January 13, 1999. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  2. ^ https://www.independent.co.uk/news/professor-has-worlds-first-silicon-chip-implant-1174101.html
  3. ^ https://www.wired.com/1998/08/professor-cyborg/
  4. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/158007.stm
  5. ^ http://edition.cnn.com/TECH/computing/9808/28/armchip.idg/index.html?eref=sitesearch
  6. ^ Gasson, M. N. (2010). "Human Enhancement: Could you become infected with a computer virus?". 2010 IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society. p. 61. doi:10.1109/ISTAS.2010.5514651. ISBN 978-1-4244-7777-7. 
  7. ^ http://www.personal.reading.ac.uk/~sis04mng/research/ FAQ: Could you become infected with a computer virus?
  8. ^ "Amal Graafstra - Technologist, Author & Double RFID Implantee". amal.net. Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  9. ^ "RFID Toys Forum". Dangerous Things Forum. Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  10. ^ "Dangerous Things". Dangerous Things. Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  11. ^ "The xNT implantable NFC chip". Indiegogo. Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  12. ^ bpg (2017-03-09), PRMT | Ghost In the Shell | Live Stream, retrieved 2017-05-26 
  13. ^ TEDx Talks (2013-10-17), Biohacking - the forefront of a new kind of human evolution: Amal Graafstra at TEDxSFU, retrieved 2017-05-26 
  14. ^ Motherboard (2017-03-23), Who Killed the Smart Gun?, retrieved 2017-05-26 
  15. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2gKJeM6Ihw link Fox News Interviews Mikey Sklar
  16. ^ "Jondo the Mandroid is RFID enabled". 
  17. ^ Clark, Liat (November 11, 2014). "Hand-implanted NFC chips open this man's bitcoin wallet". Retrieved February 15, 2015. 
  18. ^ Pearson, Jordan (October 30, 2015). "This Guy Implanted His Bitcoin Wallet and Made a Payment With His Hand". Retrieved November 2, 2015. 
  19. ^ http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/it-expert-marcel-varallo-inserts-microchip-in-hand-for-technology-experiment/news-story/0a809c0bc341a3a22ea30cc46d353cff?sv=b559f5b6a1ca4df5f4ac431ce12409da
  20. ^ "Au pays des espèces en voie de disparition". lesechos.fr. 2016-02-19. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  21. ^ "The rise of the Swedish cyborgs - BBC News". Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  22. ^ 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
  23. ^ "KO33440: Designation of VeriChip as Class II with special controls" (PDF). FDA. October 12, 2004. 
  24. ^ "Class II Special Controls Guidance Document: Implantable Radiofrequency Transponder System for Patient Identification and Health Information" (PDF). FDA. December 10, 2004. 
  25. ^ "Verichip Consumer FAQ". Archived from the original on August 2, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  26. ^ a b Halamka, J; Juels, A; Stubblefield, A; Westhues, J (2006). "The security implications of VeriChip cloning". Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA. 13 (6): 601–7. doi:10.1197/jamia.M2143. PMC 1656959Freely accessible. PMID 16929037. 
  27. ^ "Human-implantable RFID chips: Some ethical and privacy concerns". Healthcare IT News. 30 July 2007. 
  28. ^ Westra, BL (March 2009). "Radio frequency identification". The American journal of nursing. 109 (3): 34–6. doi:10.1097/01.NAJ.0000346925.67498.a4. PMID 19240491. 
  29. ^ Mordini, E; Ottolini, C (2007). "Body identification, biometrics and medicine: ethical and social considerations" (PDF). Annali dell'Istituto superiore di sanita. 43 (1): 51–60. PMID 17536154. 
  30. ^ 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. 
  31. ^ Gilbert, Alorie (16 February 2005). "Is RFID the mark of the beast?". CNET News. Retrieved 13 September 2010. 
  32. ^ "Revelation 14:9-11". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  33. ^ 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. 
  34. ^ Baard, Mark (2006-06-06). "RFID: Sign of the (End) Times?". Wired.com. Retrieved 2009-10-13. 
  35. ^ Scheeres, Julia (6 February 2002). "They Want Their ID Chips Now". Wired News. Retrieved 13 September 2010. 
  36. ^ "American Medical Association CEJA Report 5-A-07". 
  37. ^ Lewan, Todd (September 8, 2007). "Chip Implants Linked to Animal Tumours". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  38. ^ Edwards, Jim. "Down With the Chip: PositiveID Axes Its Scary Medical Records". bNET. July 15, 2010. Retrieved March 2, 2017
  39. ^ "VeriTeQ Acquisition Corporation Acquires Implantable, FDA-Cleared VeriChip Technology and Health Link Personal Health Record from PositiveID Corporation". VeriTeQ via BusinessWire. January 17, 2012. 
  40. ^ "JAMM Technologies Acquires the Veriteq RFID Technology Platform and Enters into Supply Agreement with Establishment Labs". JAMM via PRWeb. April 4, 2016. 
  41. ^ Lewan, Todd. USA Today. July 2007. "Microchips in humans spark privacy debate.".
  42. ^ Westhues, Jonathan. "Demo: Cloning a VeriChip." Demo: Cloning a VeriChip.
  43. ^ Newitz, Annalee (May 2006). "The RFID Hacking Underground". Wired. Retrieved July 13, 2011. 
  44. ^ http://www.baja.nl/vipform.aspx
  45. ^ Mearian, Lucas (February 6, 2015). "Office complex implants RFID chips in employees' hands". Computerworld. Retrieved February 15, 2015. 
  46. ^ http://home.bt.com/tech-gadgets/future-tech/microchips-in-humans-to-prevent-doping-11364220161232
  47. ^ "Indonesia's Papua plans to tag AIDS sufferers", Mon Nov 24, 2008.
  48. ^ Jason Tedjasukmana (Nov 26, 2008), "Papua Proposal: A Microchip to Track the HIV-Positive", Time 
  49. ^ Government Of Indonesian Province Rejects Plan To Implant Microchips In Some HIV-Positive People, 2008-12-08
  50. ^ "Cashless Society"
  51. ^ http://www.antichips.com/cancer/ Microchip-Induced Tumors in Laboratory Rodents and Dogs: A Review of the Literature 1990–2006
  52. ^ Lewan, Todd (September 8, 2007), "Chip Implants Linked to Animal Tumours", The Washington Post, retrieved 2010-06-08 
  53. ^ RFID Journal. "VeriChip Defends the Safety of Implanted RFID Tags". rfidjournal.com. Retrieved 13 April 2016. 
  54. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CS13kFWQIYM#t=60m53s Tumours, Tracking, and Tyranny: The Downside to Implantable Microchip
  55. ^ Blanchard, K. T.; Barthel, C.; French, J. E.; Holden, H. E.; Moretz, R.; Pack, F. D.; Tennant, R. W.; Stoll, R. E. (1999). "Transponder-Induced Sarcoma in the Heterozygous p53+/- Mouse". Toxicologic Pathology. 27 (5): 519. doi:10.1177/019262339902700505. 
  56. ^ Lewan, Todd. The Associated Press, September 8, 2007. "Chip Implants Linked to Animal Tumors"
  57. ^ Studies Linking Microchips and Cancer
  58. ^ CEJA of the American Medical Association, CEJA Report 5-A-07, Radio Frequency ID Devices in Humans, presented by Robert M. Sade, MD, Chair. 2007
  59. ^ a b California Bans Forced RFID Tagging of Humans, Government Technology website, October 17, 2007
  60. ^ Tim Talley. "Bill bans involuntary microchip implants". 2008.
  61. ^ "Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Privacy Laws". 2015.
  62. ^ "Georgia SB 235 - Ban on Required Human Microchip Implantation - Key Vote - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 13 April 2016. 
  63. ^ Virginia delegates pass bill banning chip implants as ‘mark of the beast’, The Raw Story, By Daniel Tencer, Wednesday, February 10, 2010 retrieved April 23, 2010
  64. ^ HB 1142-2009-10 to study requiring the use of implanted RFID in certain felons.

Further reading[edit]

  • 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. 
  • Graafstra, Amal (2004). RFID Toys: 11 Cool Projects for Home, Office and Entertainment (4th ed.). New York City, New York: (ExtremeTech) Ziff Davis Publishing Holdings Inc. ISBN 0-471-77196-1.