Company Wants Employees ‘Chipped’
Joining a high-technology office complex in Sweden, a Wisconsin company now says bio-chips can replace swipe cards, log in to computers, and order food. Distressingly, employees are lining up for the “convenient” implanted chip.
By Dave Gahary
Five years ago this week, when American Free Press was the first national newspaper to break the story on a San Antonio, Texas school attempting to force all 4,200 students “to wear radio frequency identification (RFID) microchips embedded in the student IDs worn around their necks,” it may have seemed to most readers the stuff of science fiction. Not only is the technology more advanced today, however, it’s gaining acceptance as well.
Although the teenage heroine in AFP roving editor Mark Anderson’s 2012 report—Andrea Hernandez—eventually won her battle based on religious beliefs that opposed being “chipped,” having microchips voluntarily injected subcutaneously is now a growing fad.
Around two years after AFP’s report, the BBC reported on a company that’s perfecting the art of chipping. In Sweden, a high-technology office complex—Epicenter—is offering chipping to any employee who wants it, and many are jumping at the chance. Even BBC reporter Rory Cellan-Jones—who wrote the Jan. 29, 2015 article entitled “Office puts chips under staff’s skin”—volunteered to have the device, about the size of a grain of rice, implanted in his hand, between his thumb and index finger. He explained the process in the article.
First, he massaged the skin between my thumb and index finger and rubbed in some disinfectant. The[n] he told me to take a deep breath while he inserted the chip. There was a moment of pain—not much worse than any injection—and then he stuck a plaster [an adhesive bandage] over my hand.
Eventually, all 700 employees working in the complex were to be offered the “opportunity” to be chipped.
The man implanting the chips—Hannes Sjoblad, who works for the Swedish “biohacking” company BioNyfiken—told the reporter:
We already interact with technology all the time. Today it’s a bit messy—we need pin codes and passwords. Wouldn’t it be easy to just touch with your hand? That’s really intuitive. We want to be able to understand this technology before big corporates and big government come to us and say everyone should get chipped—the tax authority chip, the Google or Facebook chip.
An Associated Press (AP) article updating Epicenter’s “progress,” reported that of the “more than 100 companies and some 2,000 workers . . . about 150 workers have them.” The report notes a company in Belgium “also offers its employees such implants, and there are isolated cases around the world where tech enthusiasts have tried this out in recent years.”
“The implants have become so popular,” reports AP, “that Epicenter workers stage monthly events where attendees have the option of being ‘chipped’ for free.”
Now the chipping craze has crossed the pond. As reported in the pages of USA Today on July 24, a “Wisconsin technology firm has begun offering employees microchip implants so they can [enter the company building without a swipe card] and purchase food at work.” The company, Three Square Market (32M)—which is partnering with BioNyfiken—“has over 50 employees who plan to have the devices implanted.”
According to a company press release, 32M “is offering implanted chip technology to all of their employees. Employees will be chipped at the 32M inaugural ‘chip party’ hosted at their headquarters in River Falls, Wisc. on Aug. 1, 2017. Employees will be implanted with a RFID chip allowing them to make purchases in their break room micro market, open doors, log in to computers, use the copy machine etc.”
CEO Todd Westby states: “We foresee the use of RFID technology to drive everything from making purchases in our office break room market, opening doors, use of copy machines, logging into our office computers, unlocking phones, sharing business cards, storing medical/health information, and used as payment at other RFID terminals. Eventually, this technology will become standardized allowing you to use this as your passport, public transit, all purchasing opportunities etc.”
Vice President of International Sales Tony Danna added, “We see chip technology as the next evolution in payment systems.”
Fortunately for those neo-luddites among us, not everyone is as eager to step into this brave, new world. State lawmakers in Nevada heard testimony earlier this year regarding chipping.
Legislation introduced by state Sen. Becky Harris “would bar forcefully implanted tracking microchips,” reported the Reno Gazette-Journal on Feb. 13. Sen. Harris believes “the chips pose serious ethical concerns, such as who owns the information stored on the chip and who owns the chip itself.”
She’s also concerned that the chips could be “hacked,” allowing someone unauthorized access to the chip for an illegal purpose.
“There’s no cryptology or protection measures that we’re aware of that are placed on these chips, so it’s possible to hack the information contained within the chips,” she said. “It is possible that you could harass or stalk chipped individuals with the right type of reader.”
Sen. Harris also claims “the chips also pose a potential health problem, citing studies that found fibrosarcoma and sarcoma, a malignant cancerous tumor, at injection sites in animal testing.”
Humans morphing into cancerous cyborgs may have come to pass, but it’s not fazing certain portions of the younger generation. A 25-year-old employee who works for a company in the Epicenter complex, Sandra Haglof, is ready for the transformation.
Laughing, she told AP, “I want to be part of the future.”
Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, prevailed in a suit brought by the New York Stock Exchange in an attempt to silence him. Dave is the producer of an upcoming full-length feature film about the attack on the USS Liberty. See erasingtheliberty.com for more information.