A Cincinnati video surveillance company CityWatcher.com now requires
employees to use Verichip
human implantable microchips to enter a secure data centre. Until now,
the employees entered the data centre with a VeriChip housed in a heart-shaped
plastic casing that hangs from their keychain.
The VeriChip is a glass encapsulated RFID tag that is injected into the triceps
area of the arm to uniquely identify individuals. The tag can be read by radio
waves from a few inches away.
The news was reported by CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion
and Numbering), a US organisation that opposes the use of surveillance RFID
Although CityWatcher does not require its employees to take an implant to keep
their jobs, they won't get in the data centre without it. CASPIAN’s
Katherine Albrecht says chipping sets an unsettling precedent. "It's wrong
to link a person's paycheck with getting an implant,” she says.
CityWatcher argues that chipping employees is a move to increase the layer
of security, as present systems can be compromised. However, CASPIAN warns that
this can happen to implantable chips too. Security researcher Jonathan Westhues
- author of a chapter in a book titled Hacking the Prox Card - recently
demonstrated how the VeriChip can be skimmed and cloned by a hacker. A cloned
chip theoretically could duplicate an individual's VeriChip implant to access
a secure area.