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Former Health Secretary Pushes for VeriChip Implants

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the getting-under-your-skin dept.

United States 638

An anonymous reader writes "Tommy Thompson, the former Bush Health Secretary after implanting a chip into himself, is going to submit a proposal within the next 50 days to promote it for everyone in the USA. VeriChip spokesperson John Procter said 'virtually everyone could benefit from having a chip inserted.' Enjoy your assimilation in the land of the free, citizen."

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Medical Purposes Only (5, Insightful)

DosBubba (766897) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258194)

Of course, VeriChips are for medical use only [findmellc.com] .
This will be introduced as optional and quickly become as voluntary as credit cards, drivers licenses, and cell phones. Sure, you can opt-out of these, but you will never be accepted at a job that requires them.

Re:Medical Purposes Only (2, Informative)

derEikopf (624124) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258294)

According to Procter, the chips can also be used for financial transactions.

Re:Medical Purposes Only (3, Insightful)

Potor (658520) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258351)

This puts the consumer loyalty card thread into perspective, now, doesn't it?

Re:Medical Purposes Only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258366)

Just like Social Security numbers? Hah!

Newsflash (5, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258195)

Newsflash 1: Director[1] of company that makes RFID chips extols virtues of RFID chips!

Newsflash 2: There is a revolving door between executive-level government and industry!

Newsflash 3: A former government official might use his contacts to lobby for his benefit!

Newsflash 4: Company in question presents its product in a positive light!

Newsflash 5: Melodramaic slashdot sumbission contains no actual news at all.

Frankly, there could be benefits from and novel uses for a universally globally unique identifier that is always with you and can't be lost. But the potential for abuse, obviously, outweighs those benefits. (In fact, if it could only be activated and/or read when you explicitly wished, it might be a good, albeit voluntary, idea. But that's not how this system is applied.)

And further, it's probably not a bad idea for health applications. However, like the Social Security number, it's bound to get misappropriated and misapplied for all manner of other uses. Some of which we

So far, where has it been used? Bars and clubs as gimmicks.

So what does this all mean?

We have a former government official with no official standing or position in government whatever promoting a product of a company of which he's a member of the board.

Stunning.

Bottom line: Sure, absolutely: be vigilant. But there will never be compulsory "implants" that will be required for all. Does that mean a company that would benefit massively from such an idea wouldn't try to promote it? In fact, I'd be worried if a for-profit company operating in a quasi-capitalist society didn't attempt to promote its products. (And no, having national standards for state driver licenses and identification cards was/is not a bad idea.)

[1] Tommy Thompson, while he incidentally may have been the former HHS secretary, is a director of the company that makes the RFID chips.

Re:Newsflash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258209)

So, how many shares of VeriChip do you own?

Re:Newsflash (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258218)

None, dumbass.

I'm pointing out that it's no surprise a company is promoting its own products.

Of course, naturally, I'd expect everyone here to miss that point.

Re:Newsflash (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258226)

And its no surprise that someone who obviously has a vested interest in the company like you would sit here and try to downplay any criticism of said company.

Re:Newsflash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258300)

I'm pointing out that it's no surprise a company is promoting its own products.

I thought the surprising part was the obvious lack of good taste. Are we to be cattle so that some agency can "brand" us with these things? Is it right for a former Health secretary to be peddling what appears to be all manner of anti-freedom chip implants?

Is it sane to want to stay away from technology like this? Will it be sane in 10-20 years when this stuff is manditory?

But you know, whatever. Lets just pass it off as what you say it is, and what is appears to be. Just schmucks selling some info tracking stuff. Good for us, right. No downsides whatsoever..

God, I hate people.

Re:Newsflash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258273)

Tommy Thompson is also a Republican, conservative pissant apologist daveschroeder.

Re:Newsflash (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258281)

And how does that change anything I said?

What's that?

It doesn't?

Ok, thanks!

"MOVE ALONG NOTHING TO SEE HERE" (4, Insightful)

mcc (14761) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258288)

Bottom line: Sure, absolutely: be vigilant. But there will never be compulsory "implants" that will be required for all.

Well, the company that makes them is lobbying to move things in the direction of making them compulsory for all. They may not ever succeed at this. But does that make it okay that they're trying?

Yes, the practice of ex-political officials entering industry and using their contacts for lobbying purposes is common. However just because it is a common thing does not make it a good thing.

At any rate, you are probably right that these things won't ever become mandatory-- in the United States. But there are lots of other places in the world. The government of China, for example, already has national "citizen identification" cards, and already has a precedent of compulsory medical care (for example abortions). Do you think it would be the least bit unusual if this kind of chipping became mandatory there? Because I don't.

Re:"MOVE ALONG NOTHING TO SEE HERE" (2, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258360)

Well, the company that makes them is lobbying to move things in the direction of making them compulsory for all. They may not ever succeed at this. But does that make it okay that they're trying?

I don't have any problem with a company making a product attempting to promote it. Viewed in a vacuum, as I said, these products, like many others, could have positive applications. That they would try to promote the product in such a fashion as it would be used as widely as possible comes as no surprise to me.

If we expand the discussion to politics, civil liberties, and so on, I certainly can see how people who be disturbed by any such proposal, however initially benign it might be. But in a "free" country, as some who oppose this might be quick to sarcastically point out, as the submitter did, isn't a business free to make and promote products?

Yes, the practice of ex-political officials entering industry and using their contacts for lobbying purposes is common. However just because it is a common thing does not make it a good thing.

Here we can perhaps agree. But it's only natural, and frankly, to me anyway, expected, for very skilled and effective managers and leaders to be picked up from government by industry and vice versa.

At any rate, you are probably right that these things won't ever become mandatory-- in the United States. But there are lots of other places in the world. The government of China, for example, already has national "citizen identification" cards, and already has a precedent of compulsory medical care (for example abortions). Do you think it would be the least bit unusual if this kind of chipping became mandatory there? Because I don't.

And once again, companies involving themselves in the affairs of governments with questionable regimes (cf. US companies in Nazi Germany) is an issue much larger than what we're discussing here. If we agree that, say, China doing this with all of its citizens is a bad idea, what do we do? How do we respond? Make it against the law to make implantable RFID chips? Of course, this would only apply in the jurisdiction of the US. Oops, there's a business lost, too. Granted, that's kind of an oversimplified fringe example, but really, what would you propose we do?

I'd personally rather use the extremely imperfect system of democracy we've built to hopefully elect leaders that will make halfway decent decisions - keep in mind that non-ignorant, thinking conservatives (and no, not bible-thumping fundie ones, but honest to God reasonable conservatives - and yes, they do exist) are just as sure their philosophies on government, economics, etc., are just as likely to bring happiness to the widest amount of people as the liberals and progressives are of their policy. (Of course, if you're someone who believes that all US politicians are already bought and paid for, and cynically think that the entire government is a behemoth out to get you and we've already lost all of our freedom, then we're probably speaking on a slightly different wavelength here.)

Re:Newsflash (3, Insightful)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258352)

But there will never be compulsory "implants" that will be required for all.

While I agree with most of your post, I'd be careful with statements like that. Never say never - there's already lots of stuff going on today that people probably wouldn't have believed would ever happen some 230 years ago.

WAIT, SLASHDOT BLOWS THINGS OUT OF PROPORTION???/? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258373)

OMG!!!1!1!eleventeenthousand!1

Company spokesman endorses own product (3, Funny)

The Hobo (783784) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258197)

In other news, umbrella manufacturer thinks everyone could benefit from an umbrella.

Film at eleven.

Re:Company spokesman endorses own product (4, Funny)

Senjutsu (614542) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258338)

In other news, umbrella manufacturer thinks everyone could benefit from an umbrella.

If they're only thinking that, they're doing it wrong. They should be paying off some dumb-ass politician so that he can introduce legislation mandating that everyone has to buy an UmbrellaCo brand umbrella.

Right... (1)

Radish03 (248960) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258198)

"Nothing for you to see here. Please move along."

First post!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258199)

First post!!!

Re:First post!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258217)

Second Post!!!!

Nah, just for immigrants. (-1, Flamebait)

Stonent1 (594886) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258203)

I think that's a good balance. Don't bother us native born people with it.

Re:Nah, just for immigrants. (1)

pwnage (856708) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258223)

Don't bother us native born people with it.

You mean, like Tim McVeigh?

Re:Nah, just for immigrants. (0, Flamebait)

Stonent1 (594886) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258244)

Well then if that's the case, lobby for everyone to have it. I'm willing to take the chance and just tag non-native citizens.

Re:Nah, just for immigrants. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258279)

Witty retort, but there's not much comparison between the handful of domestic nutjobs and the veritable flood of unknown persons (including a wide variety of felons and violent gang members) crossing in from Mexico each day.

Yes, yes, I know, they all just come here to work. Right. Which is why our prisons are overflowing with hardworking family men who happen to be illegals.

Re:Nah, just for immigrants. (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258305)

>You mean, like Tim McVeigh?

And how would having a dog tag have altered McVeigh's behavior? My dog has a Verichip. The thing is, the chip itself is nothing but a serial number. In order for it to be meaningful, it must be registered with one of several competing database vendors, which means a vet or animal control agency must be looking where your pet is registered. The chip itself doesn't contain any information about the animal, just a PK into some database, one that if you don't pay a monthly fee, it gets erased, so your pet just has a meaningless microchip in his neck.

Re:Nah, just for immigrants. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258275)

I bet the native natives are kicking themselves for not inventing this in the 1500s.

Only if it includes DRM (5, Funny)

liquid stereo (602956) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258206)

I want my freedom restricted.

Oh God. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258207)

I wonder what the reaction will be to this from that part of the extremist christian set that honestly believes the events of Revelations will come true in our lifetime...

Let Dubya be '666' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258235)



ha ha

Re:Oh God. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258263)

Many of them believe in doctrine of "immanentising the eschaton" i.e. it's their duty to make as much of the book of Revelations true as early as possible to bring on the Rapture when men shall ascend to heaven. From their perspective, this would just be getting the bad stuff in Revelations out of the way early.

Mainstream christians reject the doctrine of immanentisation of the eschaton as a grievous sin, as it would be man telling god what to do.

Re:Oh God. (1)

tyrus568 (644456) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258333)

I think it's called the Bible Belt.

Look at the popularity of that atrocious "Left Behind" series and tell me there would ever be compulsory chip implementation of any kind in the US.

Too easy (5, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258210)

I know where spokesperson John Procter can insert his chip!

Re:Too easy (2, Funny)

pyrrhonist (701154) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258266)

I know where spokesperson John Procter can insert his chip!

The best part is that his last name is derived from the Greek word proktos, which means anus.

Re:Too easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258313)

Thank you, Captain Obvious!

Re:Too easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258328)

proktos .. so what's greek for retentive?

My RFID is blinking red.... (3, Funny)

Nick of NSTime (597712) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258211)

Will I be renewed?

Re:My RFID is blinking red.... (1)

grazzy (56382) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258237)

Due to multiple failures to pay your monthly wal-mart login fee this account will be TERMINATED.
*bzzppp*.

Re:My RFID is blinking red.... (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258306)

There is no sanctuary!!

Re:My RFID is blinking red.... (3, Funny)

pyrrhonist (701154) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258326)

That Red's gonna run, I can always tell.

Be very afraid... (1)

rob_squared (821479) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258213)

...but within reason:

-As long as it's not passed.

-As long as the procedure is optional.

-As long as it doesn't become a rider.

Re:Be very afraid... (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258241)

- It's not even any kind of proposed bill.

- It's a member of a company's board of directors promoting its products.

- Even in some kind of alternate universe where compulsory, mandatory implants for all residents of the United States were a rider on ANY bill, no matter WHAT the bill, it would NEVER pass.

No, really.

Even for those people who think (wildly erroneously, I might add) that the US is a totalitarian police state and one step away from 1984 (or already there).

Re:Be very afraid... (4, Insightful)

Gavin Rogers (301715) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258292)

Even in some kind of alternate universe where compulsory, mandatory implants for all residents of the United States were a rider on ANY bill, no matter WHAT the bill, it would NEVER pass.

Who said it would need an act of Congress? Get yourself chipped and get a decent reduction in insurance premiums in return and people will wait in line to get one.

Get chipped and you don't have to wait in line at the supermarket.

Get your kids chipped and you can tell where they are at all times and protect them from baddies...

Don't need a law to make it compulsory. I reckon the free market will do just nicely.

Just a "health chip"? (4, Informative)

Gavin Rogers (301715) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258216)

From the article:

"According to Procter, the chips can also be used for financial transactions."

Which reminded me of:

Rev 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to
receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
Rev 13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Easy access for doctors to our medical records or an easy way for someone to control everything we do, go or buy? "Sorry sir, no chip, no entry". hmm.

What does the Electronic Frontiers Foundation say about all this?!

Re:Just a "health chip"? (1)

bigalsenior (869954) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258248)

it's electronic freedom foundation

Re:Just a "health chip"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258278)

Electronic Frontier Foundation [eff.org] fucktard.

Re:Just a "health chip"? (1)

EEBaum (520514) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258286)

it's electronic freedom foundation

No, it's Electronic Frontier Foundation. http://www.eff.org/ [eff.org]

Re:Just a "health chip"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258251)

What does the Electronic Frontiers Foundation say about all this?!

They think it's a great idea because it will allow them to more easily monitor abuses of freedom...

Re:Just a "health chip"? (2, Interesting)

Laptop Dancer (572075) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258293)

Wait, the Republicans are the party of the Anti-Christ??

Re:Just a "health chip"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258347)

Wait, the Republicans are the party of the Anti-Christ??

Now wouldn't that be ironic!

hacking (2, Funny)

gid13 (620803) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258220)

Well, if it's easy to misuse the system to track people, at least you'll know where to find the people responsible. ;)

Re:hacking (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258383)

The problem is, the people responsible for abusing such a system would probably be well known - government leaders that you elected. Go figure.

Oh god (3, Insightful)

utopianfiat (774016) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258222)

When is someone going to say the three words we've all wanted to say to this:
WHAT THE FUCK?

I see it now... (2, Informative)

mrMango (858259) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258227)

I'm sure you could opt out of these things, but I'd bet most employers would require them. Sounds like a precursor to GATTICA to me.

Re:I see it now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258372)

It was GATTACA (all the letters represented DNA molecules)

I don't know what scares me more... (1)

no_pets (881013) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258228)

I don't know what scares me more, that the chips have been developed and are being promoted or that the general public will probably believe that it's a good idea.

No way. (2, Funny)

TheOtherAgentM (700696) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258238)

The only chip that goes inside my body is the potato kind...possibly the tortilla kind too.

This is a terrible idea (4, Insightful)

ReformedExCon (897248) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258239)

There are many reasons why this is a bad idea, the first and foremost that it violates the 4th Amendment. Americans have the right to be secure in their person. It's the first right laid out in the amendment.

The second problem is that there is very little benefit compared to the cost. The cost being the pain and suffering involved in getting implanted in addition to the medical costs involved in having it inserted.

Add to this the amount of conspiracy talk that's bound to arise, and you're looking at a real lashback from the populace.

You'll find me in favor of the government doing a lot of things, but this is not one of them. It's a poorly thought-through idea and should be resisted as much as possible.

Re:This is a terrible idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258290)

The cost being the pain and suffering involved in getting implanted in addition to the medical costs involved in having it inserted.

This is the only part that's not totally accurate... it has an obvious and immediate benefit in healthcare, where it would make it immensely easier for emergency treatment providers to instantly know what medicines you're allergic to, what your medical history is, etc., which could very easily save lives.

Can you do the same thing carrying your info around on a card? Sure... but it's faster and less prone to forgetting it somewhere.

Now, obviously one benefit doesn't make it a great idea... but the idea that there's no benefit to this is simply wrong and an exaggeration.

Re:This is a terrible idea (1)

ReformedExCon (897248) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258309)

I didn't say that there was no benefit, only that the benefits do not outweigh the cost. There are benefits, as you've rightly mentioned.

But that aside, why would you have this implanted in your arm? Arms can be severed, crushed, shredded in combines, and otherwise destroyed. Wouldn't somewhere like the back of the neck be a better place to put the chip? If your neck becomes injured to the point that the chip is unreadable, then it's probably a safe bet that you won't make it.

Re:This is a terrible idea (1)

berzerke (319205) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258331)

...Can you do the same thing carrying your info around on a card? Sure... but it's faster and less prone to forgetting it somewhere...

Gee, ever heard of a medic alert braclet? I've even seen people with them. "Cards? We don't need no stinking cards."

Re:This is a terrible idea (1)

berzerke (319205) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258353)

There are many reasons why this is a bad idea, the first and foremost that it violates the 4th Amendment...

Since when has violating the various amendments stopped, or even bothered, "our" government anymore?

"We finally got it right" (5, Funny)

Loundry (4143) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258240)

"We've been working on this for years, it almost feels like an eternity," quipped thompson while lighting a cigar. "It took us 665 iterations before we feel like we got it right. Now we think everyone should have it. Now."

Can this be used for remote control? (1)

GoatSucker (781403) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258245)

I hope the chips have a remote control receiver - I'm definitely signing up for this!

Way ahead of you! (3, Funny)

jfengel (409917) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258249)

I've been wearing my stylish tin-foil hat to keep the mind-control rays OUT. Fortunately, this flexible and fashionable garment also serves to keep RF identifiers IN.

And if they decide to plant the chip in a more sensitive place, my tin-foil cup has been protecting my precious bodily fluids for years.

(Yes, I know that RFIDs respond to outside RF, not generate it themselves. The gag is funnier my way. Relax.)

Re:Way ahead of you! (1)

Shook18 (878947) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258274)

Tin-foil cup!? So... h... CHAFING!

Amputees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258250)

"Thompson, now a director of Applied Digital Solutions, the company that makes the chips, intends to publish the proposal in the next 50 days, by which time he plans to have had a VeriChip inserted in his arm."

I am an amputee, you insensitive clod!

Re:Amputees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258381)

I am an amputee, you insensitive clod!

Don't worry, with the coming of the New World Order, you'll get it in your head.

Movie reference! (1)

kc0re (739168) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258253)

Doesn't this remind you of.. Arnold... Mars... Had to pull the thing of out his nose... wtf was that movie...

Total Recall.. Doesn't this remind you of total Recall?

Re:Movie reference! (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258322)

Well, in the movie, that in-the-nose thing wasn't in everybody, just him. They tagged him so they'd always know where he was.

A better example would be Demolition Man.

Re:Movie reference! (2, Funny)

dtungsten (445338) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258337)

Doesn't this remind you of.. Arnold... Mars... Had to pull the thing of out his nose... wtf was that movie...

You seem to be having TOTAL difficulty RECALLing the name of the movie.

What A Hysterical Submission (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258256)

Nice to see that the submitter didn't even bother to explain what these chips are or what they would be used for.

A chip containing information about a person's medical information would actually be useful in the event of an emergency. This would be more complete than medical bracelets that some people have now. Or verifying the identity of a person. There does some to be many beneficial uses for thie technology.

The submission makes it sound like this is some government program that is going to be chipping everybody in the near future, when it is just a private company selling it.

The last sentence in this summary was completely unnecessary and gratuitous. It seems the editors like trolling people as much as the the worse readers.

Re:What A Hysterical Submission (1)

EEBaum (520514) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258308)

From TFA:

According to Procter, the chips can also be used for financial transactions.
...
The VeriChip is inserted at the club and means club-goers will no longer have to wait in line to pay to get in and will be able to use the chip to pay their bar bill.


This company hasn't started chipping yet, and they're already talking about using it for non-medical uses.

Re:What A Hysterical Submission (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258356)

The submission makes it sound like this is some government program that is going to be chipping everybody in the near future, when it is just a private company selling it.

There is no tinfoil in my wardrobe, but with the government we have now and the way things have been moving for the last few years, mandatory chipping of citizens is not an "if" so much as a "when."

The public may need to be frightened into accepting it by another large-scale terrorist attack on US soil, but the day is coming when the first thing a doctor does after slapping a newborn will be to implant the kid's chip.

New tech, same old issues. (3, Insightful)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258259)

There is no doubt that these chips can benefit a significant number of people...from medical information to bar tabs, the applications are endless. However, we shouldn't lose sight of one important application these chips are being pushed for...

From TFA:
Civil liberties groups such as Caspian in the US fear that the need for increased security in the wake of terrorist attacks could act as a catalyst for a more widespread use of VeriChips.

That's really what this is all about, isn't it? Unfortunately, although many may consider implanted RFID chips to be the security 'magic wand', this simply isn't the case. If a beach club can program and insert a chip for you, it's not too far a stretch to imagine terrorist groups programming and inserting bogus chips in their operatives. In the context of security, all this does is create a false sense of security.

The other major concern regarding implanted RFID chips is the increased danger of information/identity theft. If all a thief needs to do to lift your information, including your identity, medical records, and bar tabs, is stand next to you on the subway, we're going to see a whole new chapter written in the history of information theft.

Medical uses are realistic (2, Insightful)

InternationalCow (681980) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258260)

Before we all jump to the obvious conclusion that implanting chips will interfere with civic rights (which it can), it is worthwhile to consider that such implants can be useful. As a medical doctor I encounter patients everey day, who have no clear recollection of their medical history or the medication that they use. In the recent I've prescribed medication that was potentially dangerous because of interference with another drug that the patient was taking but forgot to tell me about when asked. If the pharmacist hadn't noticed there might have been a serious problem. The same applies to genetic conditions that affect medical care. These are often too complicated for the average patient to understand or report correctly. Adverse drug reactions, idem. An electronic patient file can solve these problems but one does not always have access to those. So, there are definitely opportunities here to improve medical care and ease the administrative burden for doctors. I would like to have this technology. As for the privacy issues - if you use a credit card to pay your way through life, you have already given up a lot of your privacy. Same goes for any other process that involves the registration of personal data (such as buying a car). Thorny issue, though.

Re:Medical uses are realistic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258316)

"Before we all jump to the obvious conclusion that implanting chips will interfere with civic rights (which it can), it is worthwhile to consider that such implants can be useful. As a medical doctor I encounter patients everey day, who have no clear recollection of their medical history or the medication that they use. In the recent I've prescribed medication that was potentially dangerous because of interference with another drug that the patient was taking but forgot to tell me about when asked. If the pharmacist hadn't noticed there might have been a serious problem. The same applies to genetic conditions that affect medical care. These are often too complicated for the average patient to understand or report correctly. Adverse drug reactions, idem. An electronic patient file can solve these problems but one does not always have access to those. So, there are definitely opportunities here to improve medical care and ease the administrative burden for doctors. I would like to have this technology. As for the privacy issues - if you use a credit card to pay your way through life, you have already given up a lot of your privacy. Same goes for any other process that involves the registration of personal data (such as buying a car). Thorny issue, though."

You ( if you really are a doctor, which I doubt ) are living proof that even a dumb fuck can get a medical degree. There are plenty of ways to store data without resorting to implantation.

I really wish these discussions were face-to-face, so I could
bitch-slap your sorry ass.

Re:Medical uses are realistic (3, Insightful)

CarrionBird (589738) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258355)

Martial law can be useful too. Doesn't make it a good idea though.

Thing is, this could be put in a card or a brecelet and be only minimally less effective, with fewer bad implications.

what ever happened to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258261)

A conservative goverment that leaves its people the hell alone?

I Am Not A Number, I'm A Free Man! (2, Insightful)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258262)

Obligatory Prisoner Quote:

"I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own."

Yeah... (3, Funny)

kc0re (739168) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258264)

But does it run Linux? Could you imagine a Beowolf Cluster of Humans? Wow.

This is true (1)

Kainaw (676073) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258268)

Procter said 'virtually everyone could benefit from having a chip inserted.'

Virtually everyone has an allergy of some sort, a medical problem of some sort, or a prescribed medication of some sort. If everyone who ever visited a hospital had a chip implanted with their medical data on it, there is a clear benefit. Assuming the /. crowd is mostly computer geeks, think of it as having the option of fixing a computer with a full history of what has been done to it or fixing a computer with no knowledge of who has used it or what has been installed on it. But, this is the "it is just so damn cool to claim everything the government (or a guy who used to be in the government) says" slashdot. So, there will certainly be plenty of "nobody benefits from this" posts.

I just had this argument with a coworker yesterday. He said, "I don't believe anything the government says." I said, "You're an idiot." He replied, "Oh, you trust everything the government says!?" I replied, "No. It is not a matter of believing. It is a matter of trust. I do not blindly trust everything the government says, but I do believe some things as true, some as partially true, and other things as false. Being able to filter information as such is a sign of intelligence. Claiming everything the government says is false is a sign of ignorance." He replied, "That's what I meant. You misunderstood me."

Exciting new opportunity! (1)

Laptop Dancer (572075) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258269)

It's actually an intriguing possibility, because it would enable a new range of PRM (Personal Rights Management) services for seamless integration with Microsoft Vista.

In the NEWS (2, Interesting)

shareme (897587) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258284)

In the NEWS ... Murder increasing by leap s and bounds as gangs figue out you can make money by stealing the new identity chip implanted in all US citizens.. Some gangs not even using a reader to check whether person ahs a chip.. beofre they shoot..

Re:In the NEWS (1)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258330)


Why is murder necessary, when the chip can be extracted with a penknife?

The mark of the beast... (1)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258287)

I'm surprised that bible thumpers haven't called in about the reference to the beast on this one.
Something along the lines of "no one shall be able to enter any commerce without the mark of the beast on his hand or forehead".

Re:The mark of the beast... (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258345)

Oh, the Bible thumpers have been going on and on and on about this crap and bar-codes and the EU and everything else.

Your moon-bat Bible thumpers like Jack Van-Impe carry on about this all the time. No one consults them because they are obscure and mad as hatters.

Dont do it (2, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258295)

The English have been implanting chips in themselves for years and all it has done is made them fatter and depleted the oceans reserves of cod.

only when hell freezer over (1)

c-reus (852386) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258297)

there's no way I'm putting a chip in me so that THEY would always have accurate data where I am and what I do.

Well, yes, they track us all anyway but this would make it much much easier.

So, sorry buds, I'm not into that stuff.

It's happening... (0, Offtopic)

whitesaint (900065) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258307)

There's been alot of messages from God regarding that the chip implants are "the mark of the beast" spoke of in Revelations. We are blind and do not see it but what was spoke of in Revelations is coming true right before our eyes. God says their going to try to talk us into getting a chip implant, and make it seem like it's for the good of everybody, but they want to control us further and it will go so far as into a one world order...Anybody who gets a chip implant will be going to hell... Here is just one of many messages from God about how to love...http://www.sofc.org/APOSTLEBK/am_ch17.htm>. .i cant find the messages about the third world war, the chip implants, and the prophecy of many things such as tidal waves the death of the pope and how the new pope would be the anti-pope...but its out there...from sister louise tomkiel i believe.... Time is running out our only duty now is to flee the U.S. or find the santuaries where we dont have to get the chip implanted to escape the US Government

get a verichip, go to hell (1)

couch_warrior (718752) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258312)

In the book if Revelations, at the end of the Bible, it foretells the coming of a totalitarian world leader, known as the antichrist (the beast). This leader will force everyone to renounce belief in any god but himself, and to seal the deal, you will be required to have the "mark" or "number" of the beast implanted in your forehead or hand. As an enforcement measure, without this "mark" you will not be able to buy or sell anything. Revelations also says that anyone who takes the mark will burn in hell. SO welcome to armageddon folks, get a veridhip and go to hell.

Er! (1)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258317)

after implanting a chip into himself, is going to submit a proposal within the next 50 days to promote it for everyone in the USA.

After wanking myself and jerking off yesterday, I submit a proposal now to promote it for everyone in the USA.

What a creep...

Embarrasment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258335)

If you think that wearing cheesehats and hunting gear at Packer games is an embarrasing image for Wisconsin, you have never actually listened to Thompson, (Wisconsin's 4 time govenor) speak.

Big ass, beer drinking cheeseheads in their hunting gear is a minor embarrassment compared to having elected Thompson govenor four times.

He apparently has incredible political skills but can barely put a complete thought together.

Cookies? (1)

venril (905197) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258342)

Granted, these will certainly not store anything like cookies, but I gaurantee that if they become used, Akamai or Doubleclick or , heh, BodyCount (tm) will collect brick-and-mortar visit data, at first, and sell it. Easy to drop scanners at pedestrian choke points.

Which of these companies will be a 3-letter agency shell company? Or will they just give the collection companies an offer they can't refuse? Not right away, but inevitable if implimented laws offering protections or no.

Perhaps those who would impliment such a system would do it for the best of intentions, but every tool with the potential for abuse by the governament has been abused by the government eventually. Tools like those described in the article are a fascists wet dream and we accept them at our peril.

What's the difference between this and biokeys? (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258344)

It would still be possible to spoof an RFID chip. Really this is nothing more than an implantable ID card. One that potential terrorists could, eventually, reverse engineer. With biokeys like fingerprints or retna scans it's much harder to fake, always on you and takes a willing effort by the person being identified.

The potential for abuse exists in either arena. Real progress won't happen until we stop trying to find an easy solution for security issues. Technology will only provide a false sense of security, we'll go back to sleep and be jarred awake by another 9-11 style attack.

In some ways the Israelis are way ahead of us in terms of their security paradigm. They're not dependent on gadget solutions. Certainly technology is part of the solution and can be a real help, but TSA's grand database ideas will never work right. RFID chips certainly won't do it, fingerprinting visitors is an insulting waste of effort and anything totally dependent on technology is doomed to failure.

As depressing as it sounds, it's people that have to be at the core of any security system. People at every level of the transportation process. Bag handlers, reservation clerks, fellow passengers, security screeners, gate crews, parking attendants...everyone. And when it comes to security in general, until we stop thinking about security as something that's up to the government or the cops, or the TSA we're never going to be any safer than we were before 9-11.

Found the messages from God (1)

whitesaint (900065) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258362)

Worst Abuse of All (1)

dthx1138 (833363) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258364)

Imagine it: somebody figures out a way to let past sexual partners 'rate' your performance.

Women would be walking around bars with scanners, knowing never to initiate conversation, just because of that one time last january when you *accidentally* crapped yourself, janet.

Sorry, nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258365)

Sorry, no chip going in me. Not happening.

Obligitory IBM slam. (1)

foolish_to_be_here (802344) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258367)

IBM has been implanting chips inside their managements heads for years. They would be re-flashed when ever a reorg took place (every two years).

How Ironic (1)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 9 years ago | (#13258371)

Slashdot and religious conservatives...agreeing on something.

RC's (some of them, anyway) think a chip like this might be the "mark of the beast"; if you don't accept it, you wont be able to work, eat, or travel. Amazing that I'm seeing so many similar predictions for slashdotters here...

Chips vulnerable to EMP? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13258378)

Are these chips vulnerable to EMP weapons?

What about MRI machines? Will we fortfeit the use of MRI machines because it'll screw up our identity (chip) ?
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