Published On: Thu, Sep 28th, 2017

Melbourne: students okay with getting microchipped, ‘it’s just convenient’

Thousands of people are buying into the “convenience” of being able to unlock your front door, car or computer with just a wave of your hand by getting a microchip implant.

From Australia comes news that embedding microchips in humans is a growing fad, especially among college students. A Herald Sun article quotes University of Melbourne student Kayla Heffernan, who has an implant in each hand — one to open the door to her home, the other to replace her security pass at work.

VeriTeq microchip

“For me I guess it’s just convenient. I used to forget my work (security) pass. I can’t get locked out of my house anymore,” Heffernan said.

“It can’t be used for myki or to make payments at the moment, but I think that would really be the game-changer that would make more people interested.”

The woman is studying the technology as part of her doctorate.

The chips are similar to the ones used to tag pets and can operate either using near field communication (NFC), which detects and enables technology in proximity to communicate wirelessly — like tapping a credit card — or radiofrequency identification (RFID).

One Sydney man even inserted the chip from his public transport travel card into his hand.

Pete Sheringham, owner of body piercing shop The Piercing Urge, said he had inserted about 20 microchips this year.

“It’s not super common,” Mr Sheringham said. “Some guys will come in and say ‘I just want one because I think it’s cool’, others will already have them programmed and know exactly what they want to do with it.”

CSIRO wireless communications researcher Samy Movassaghi said as long as the microchip implant maintained safe radiation emissions and temperature and had a Specific Absorption Rate (the amount of radiation absorbed by body tissue) below the acceptable level, it would not have an effect on the user.

Heffernan said ethics of the issue should focus on how the microchips were used, not the technology itself.

“No one should be able to force you to have it implanted against your will,” she said.

The current technology could not enable the user to be tracked, she said.

“The microchips don’t have any battery and they certainly don’t have any GPS tracking capabilities,” she said.

Heffernan said she would also study people’s perceptions of the implants.

“Some people do have an ingrained fear of them which is fascinating; is it an aversion to the technology or because it is something inside the body?” she said.

“I don’t think everybody will want them in the future. There will always be an ick factor for some people.”

Screenshot from the NBC coverage of microchip technology in the human hand

It’s noteworthy that the researcher never comments on the religious implications or beliefs in the Christian community regarding the Mark of the Beast or any Biblical reference. – BBJ, The Dispatch

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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