Tarry for the Nonce

February 13, 2006

I Suppose It Would Curb Adultery

Filed under: Science — lmwalker @ 5:48 pm

I would not be comfortable with Motorola implanting an RFID tag in me:

CityWatcher.com, a private video surveillance company, said it was testing the technology as a way of controlling access to a room where it holds security video footage for government agencies and the police . . .

RFID chips – inexpensive radio transmitters that give off a unique identifying signal – have been implanted in pets or attached to goods so they can be tracked in transit.

“There are very serious privacy and civil liberty issues of having people permanently numbered,” said Liz McIntyre, who campaigns against the use of identification technology.



  1. Oops! A bit quick with that enter key!

    “There are very serious privacy and civil liberty issues of having people permanently numbered,”

    You mean like this?




    Comment by janice — February 13, 2006 @ 6:27 pm

  2. OK, I’d like to say for the record that I have no plans on having anything implanted in me.

    If someone wants to steal my money, I’d rather they take my wallet, not something that I’m rather more attached to.

    Comment by Toly — February 13, 2006 @ 9:48 pm

  3. I Suppose It Would Curb Adultery

    Pray tell…how would it? RFID doesn’t transmit anything. Its not like someone is going to spend the money to setup sensors all over the place. This makes some sense, but why one wouldn’t just use a finger or retinal scanner is beyond me. RFID is a good technology, but I’m sure if others could read the data they could replicate the same information back to the reader. IMHO, its safer to use retinal scanners, combined w/ a fingerprint reader or card access.

    Of course, most of the facilities that I’ve been to with this type of technology have a guest access policy whereby someone who already works there lets them in. So, you have to really trust the people you have working for you, that they aren’t letting in those who would sabotage or steal your work. So, like many other things in society, it comes down to trust and ethics.

    The only place I could see this being of major importance is where there is no database connectivity for sensitive reasons. But even then you could build a retina scanner that had a local database from which to draw information. (The database would then become the weakest link, but there’s always weak links in security somewhere…. I compare it to fasteners because those are usually the weakest points of a structure).

    Either way, when I read that story, I kept thinking of cattle. “Oh, here comes cow 24601…. How’s your day 24601? What is the status of the Kumquat deal? Carry on 24601, and stop stealing the ice cream bars from the freezer.”

    Of course, that eventually leads to Orwellian thoughts of 24601 not towing the line and getting executed. But that’s where my novel picks up the story… ๐Ÿ˜€ In stores now!

    Comment by Andrew P. — February 14, 2006 @ 12:27 pm

  4. Recommendations for tracking implants have been given impetus because of the child abuse crisis. Proponents suggest that children have the implants and, on the flip side, that known sex offenders have them as well. Given that few abductees would be treated to invasive surgery, it would resolve the problem of finding lost or abducted children.

    Of course, most children that are abducted are with their fathers who have been alienated from their children in severe custody cases.

    Similarly, there is serious discussion about combining tracking technology with miniaturized telephonic implants. The telephone would be dialed with a verbal password and then the appropriate phone number. It could also be disengaged with the password as well. One article suggested that it be implanted just under the ear. I am not sure how they can do this and not have muffled sound on our part when we speak. Others have argued that an ear-ring phone in the works would be a better alternative; although, it could be more easily removed or lost.

    The old Ma Bell had plans to test a system as far back as 1963 but the U.S. goverment would not allow the phone company to conduct test trials on infants. The technology was also considered primative and bulky.

    Could the government or others use such technology to spy on us? Sure, and I suspect this is where the fight will be. However, dollars to donuts, I bet wavers will be signed by plenty of nervous parents and that public opinion will force the authorities to keep sexual offenders under perpetual scrutiny.

    Those with the least civil rights in our nation will probably be the first to be fitted with tracking technology. Mark my words, the time will come when such implants will be a requirement for Mexican migrant workers who want to labor in the United States.

    When jails are overcrowded some areas have tried house arrests with electronic ankle-bracelets. Thus, something of the technology for these purposes is already in use.

    It is somewhat ironic that here in Maryland there is an online database of all the sex offenders and where they live. However, those who have committed armed robbery, non-sexual forms of assault, dealt in drugs, and even committed murder– are under no such stigma and public listing.

    The current program is criticized because sex offenders move and fail to notify the authorities. I suppose an internal tracking device would insure that they could never escape, either the authorities or their past.


    Comment by Father Joe — February 14, 2006 @ 10:41 pm

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