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90% of People Find VeriChip "Creepy"

This article from MSN's Slate magazine makes a number of great points about the lightning rod of our industry, the VeriChip.
Nov 10, 2004This article was originally published by RFID Update.

November 10, 2004—More analysis on the lightning rod of our industry, VeriChip. (For those that have been living under a rock: VeriChip is the recently FDA-approved human-implantable RFID chip from Florida-based Applied Digital.) Apparently, Applied Digital's CEO admits that VeriChip is a hard sell, citing his company's own research that indicates 90% of people find it "creepy." And while it was widely reported earlier this year that the Mexican attorney general had VeriChip installed as an anti-kidnapping device, all of us actively involved in RFID know that the technology really offers nothing of the sort. These Mexico reports highlight just how much of a public misconception there is that RFID is able to actively track a person's whereabouts, a la GPS. And get this: the Mexican distributor who sold the VeriChips to the attorney general's office let it be believed that the technology had GPS-like remote tracking capabilities. Wouldn't it be better to avoid partnering with a company that dishonestly perpetuates the very falsehood about your new technology that is freaking out 90% of the public?

Then there is the point that what VeriChip claims to do -- revolutionize medical record-keeping -- is impossible. Not for any shortcoming on VeriChip's part, but simply because the healthcare industry's current messy, decentralized record-keeping system must itself be overhauled before VeriChip's benefits can actually be realized. Quips this author, "Once you've been chipped, you'll have to wait for VeriChip to connect its database—containing your medical records—with each hospital's individual system. By the time we get a national medical database, you'll probably have died of natural causes." Such limitations of the medical records opportunity force one to conclude that the intention is to eventually sell VeriChip for a far wider range of applications. Indeed, such intentions are implicit in most of the company's literature, including its homepage 4VeriChip.com, where it is noted that VeriChip "can be used in a variety of security, financial, emergency identification, and other applications."

Read the article at Slate
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