Are We Entering the Age of the Biochip?

Biochips are usually encased in medical glass, have a tiny antenna and an integrated circuit that transmits data when scanned by an electronic reader.

They might be little more than a gadget at this point, but they’re showing signs of catching on. The tiny chips already can replace keys, credit cards and train tickets and buy snacks. The tipping point from novelty to necessity seems inevitable. But what about security? What about privacy?

In 2004, the FDA approved a chip that would store medical records and be implanted in the upper arm. The idea was that it would save time in an emergency. Doctors would be able to scan the chip and quickly learn the patient’s blood type, allergies and health history. A market for the chip didn’t materialize. It failed. A key reason: Doctors said patients were concerned about privacy. . .

Five states — California, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Wisconsin — already have passed laws prohibiting “mandatory implantation” of biochips. And what about hacking? As more and more people get biochipped and credit card numbers are stored, won’t criminals soon follow? It’s happened with credit cards, and they are passive. . .

Whether or not it’s the end times, a more immediate question might be: Will biochips mark the end of our personal privacy, or will they finally be embraced by a once-skeptical public? (Read more from “Are We Entering the Age of the Biochip?” HERE)

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