You've Got Them Under Your Skin

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The Food and Drug Administration approves implantable verichips. This chipping rings alarm bells in those who fear modern high-tech methods of tracking and surveillance, not to mention people who take the Book of Revelations seriously. But chipping does make it possible for valuable personal medical information that you might want a doctor to have access to be kept out of databases readable by the world–because it's carried around inside you and accessible when you, or a doctor of your choice, needs it.

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  1. How about those who take Logan’s Run seriously?!?

  2. I haven’t dug to see if this is being considered or not, but I’d like a system where all sorts of personal info can be carried in a chip (finacial, medical…personal contacts and url bookmarks even?).

    The key for me would be an access code or pin number and encryption, so it can only be read when I am willing to enter my code into a scanner. The thought of passive scanners recording when I walk by is not alluring to me.

  3. I don’t think that it’s a truly serious proposition that the health care infrastructure would ever cease archiving a person’s medical history in other ways, even if that person carried one of these chips. At best, the chips would be a rapid way to get information about an unknown patient when time is a factor.

    Unless the right of the person to specifically request removal of the traditional records were explicitly enumerated in law, I don’t think there would be any incentive to hospitals, HMOs, etc., to drop the older (and presumably less secure) methods on a patient-by-patient basis. To move to the chip-based systems on a useful level of adoption would take a level of coercion on a national level with which I am very uncomfortable.

    Different data formats, communication protocols, and patenting issues would preclude the universal use of such devices to the exclusion of traditional methods of archiving personal medical histories.

    Security would be a sincere concern as well. Just look at all those wireless networks out there that are unprotected. A simple bootlegged (or stolen) reader with the correct decryption keys, placed at a subway stop, could collect an unbelievable number of personal medical histories / identities in a short amount of time.

  4. I haven’t dug to see if this is being considered or not, but I’d like a bit of security. After that, load up my chip with personal contacts, favorite web urls, bank accounts…maybe I could even pick up a ‘blank’ cell phone and use it as though it were my own while it uses my billing and contact book info.

    The key for me would be an access code or pin number and encryption, so it can only be read when I am willing to enter my code into a scanner. The thought of passive scanners recording when I walk by is not alluring to me.

  5. Or you could just carry it in your pocket.

  6. The chips I have seen described hold only a serial number, which still has to link to a database somewhere. I am not sure how this give a doctor any more information than a medic-alert bracelet and your drivers license.

    If your records were stored on the chip I suppose it could be useful.

  7. The chips I have seen described hold only a serial number, which still has to link to a database somewhere. I am not sure how this give a doctor any more information than a medic-alert bracelet and your drivers license.

    If your records were stored on the chip I suppose it could be useful.

  8. But chipping does make it possible for valuable personal medical information that you might want a doctor to have access to be kept out of databases readable by the world

    No, it doesn’t. Even if none of the info resides on a database NOW, the information can be put into one at any time. And if anyone can read the chip, certainly some of the info on it will be a key field in a database somewhere.

  9. Well, sort of …

    The chips will allow a new level of convinience for storing medical records. However, the assertion that this will keep the data out of databases seems weak. Data is difficult to erase. It may be true that the only complete and centralized copy of my medical records will be consolidated onto my IDChip. However, I don’t see how this will mean that the rest of the data stored will be somehow erased.

    Paul

  10. Well, sort of …

    The chips will allow a new level of convinience for storing medical records. However, the assertion that this will keep the data out of databases seems weak. Data is difficult to erase. It may be true that the only complete and centralized copy of my medical records will be consolidated onto my IDChip. However, I don’t see how this will mean that the rest of the data stored will be somehow erased.

    Paul

  11. Verichips are, in essence, RFID tags. They carry a serial number that can be used to access database info for that number.

    But don’t take my word for it, go to the horse’s mouth:

    http://www.4verichip.com/verichip.htm

    Rather than keeping information OUT of databases, the usefulness of Verichips is predicated on the EXISTANCE of databases full of your personal facts and figures.

    Pass.

    Jake
    (who will not be numbered, stamped, filed, briefed, debriefed OR CHIPPED!)

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