January 21, 2016

A Bag Whole of Thumbs

Do we want to live in a world where people implant chips under their skin so they can access a building’s doors, photocopiers and other systems?

For years now, there have been confederacy theories published on the Internet claiming governments will enhance an RFID chip under your skin and keep track of your every move. This does not annoy me, even though, according to some confederacy groups, the two Kinect sensors I have in my living room are also watching my every move, and the Facebook APP on my smart phone is opening the camera to see what I’m up to.It’s a good thing I do not own the latest Samsung TV!

Although, I do know co-workers and a couple of customers who do not share my rather carefree attitude about the circulation or collection of my individual information when using these products. For example, one of my colleagues refuses to turn on the GPS on his phone, in case he is followed by the merchant providing the service and his information is handed over to the authorities.

So, I wonder how they would feel if they went to work at Epicenter? Epicenter is a new high-tech office block in Sweden where a chip under the skin of employees offers reach to the building’s doors, photocopiers and other systems. Workers will even be able to pay for their lunches in the not-too-distant future, via a thumb scan.

Is this a move too far?

I’m totally on the fence.

As someone who provides password-management solutions to some of the biggest organizations in the United Kingdom, I think the benefits are obvious. But what about the downsides? As an employer, I can not offer a sick, in-pain colleague a paracetamol (acetaminophen). So, how can I insist that they have an attach in order to work for my organization?

And if they do get the attach, when it comes to employees at the Epicenter building, what would happen if someone left the organization? Must they then have a surgical procedure to remove the chip, or would they leave it in and try to forget about it?

Since RFID NFC technology products can be compromised, and because rogue readers can collect and delete data, am I surgically embedding a device that would need to be updated? Or maybe, just maybe, someday soon we’ll see the next generation of hackers running around with bags full of thumbs.

Only time will tell, of course.

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