Thursday, June 01, 2006

LiveScience.com - Proposal to Implant Tracking Chips in Immigrants

LiveScience.com - Proposal to Implant Tracking Chips in Immigrants: "

Scott Silverman, Chairman of the Board of VeriChip Corporation, has proposed implanting the company's RFID tracking tags in immigrant and guest workers. He made the statement on national television earlier this week.

Silverman was being interviewed on 'Fox & Friends.' Responding to the Bush administration's call to know 'who is in our country and why they are here,' he proposed using VeriChip RFID implants to register workers at the border, and then verify their identities in the workplace. He added, 'We have talked to many people in Washington about using it....'

The VeriChip is a very small Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag about the size of a large grain of rice. It can be injected directly into the body; a special coating on the casing helps the VeriChip bond with living tissue and stay in place. A special RFID reader broadcasts a signal, and the antenna in the VeriChip draws power from the signal and sends its data. The VeriChip is a passive RFID tag; since it does not require a battery, it has a virtually unlimited life span.

RFID tags have long been used to identify animals in a variety of settings; livestock, laboratory animals and pets have been 'chipped' for decades. Privacy advocates have long expressed concerns about this technology being used in human beings.

In a related story, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe allegedly remarked to visiting U.S. senators Jeff Sessions (Alabama) and Arlen Specter (Pennsylvania) that microchips could be used to track seasonal workers. 'President Uribe said he would consider having Colombian workers have microchips implanted in their bodies before they are permitted to enter the U.S. for seasonal work,' Specter told Congress on April 25."

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