RFID Chip Implants: The Controversy and Potential Uses
An RFID chip implant is best described as a small electronic device designed to be inserted under the skin subcutaneously or externally for multiple applications. These tiny implants are equipped with an RFID chip that contains an antenna and a microchip. The microchip’s function is to process the requests of the RFID reader, while the antenna facilitates the wireless connection between the RFID chip and the reader.
Types of RFID Chip Implants
RFID chip implants are designed to be inserted under the skin. It can be in humans, pets, livestock, and more. These are the most common types of RFID chip implants in the market. Expect them to be ideal for personal identification, access control, and medical applications.
It is not hard to imagine these kinds of implants being used as ID or access control passes. They will contain all the relevant information for personal identification so that you access restricted areas. The unique code encoded to them only applies to a specific person. You can use them to unlock doors or log into secure systems.
Payment implants are also available to make it easier for you to make contactless payments. We look at more applications of these RFID chip implants later in this guide to help you see how good they are for many businesses.
The Growth of RFID Chip Implants
The idea of RFID chip implants has been around for many years now. There have been debates about using chip implants commercially since the 80s and ’90s. They were to be used primarily for supply chain and logistics for tracking inventory and management.
Later on, in the ’90s and early 2000s, the use of RFID chip implants found its way into other sectors. This included retail, transportation, and manufacturing.
As for human implantation experiments, they started in the mid-2000s. Only a few individuals wanted the RFID chip implants under their skin. These new early adopters enabled the required research to ensure there could be more applications for RFID chips.
By the time it was 2010, there was the emergence of commercial subcutaneous RFID implants. This was when several companies began to offer RFID implants that would be placed under the skin. This was not just for humans but also for pets and livestock.
Later, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of RFID implants for medical use. This was a significant step in legalizing RFID implants in medical and healthcare systems, contactless payments, and more.
Controversy Surrounding The Use of RFID Chip Implants
As much as there can be so much good that RFID chip implants can do, there are a few concerns surrounding the technology. Below, we look at the RFID chip controversies that have arisen over the years.
1. Privacy concerns
Tracking and surveillance have been the biggest issues surrounding RFID chip implants. People feel that their movements and activities would be tracked if they had chips implanted in them.
Others feel that third parties can access the information collected about them via the implants. This can lead to the gathering of sensitive personal data.
2. Ethical concerns
We have seen that RFID chip implants are mostly used in pets and livestock. Now that they are being considered for humans, there is an issue of ethics arising. Most people feel this should be a matter of choice and consent and cannot be forced to receive implants.
There have been cases where an employer forces the employees to get implants for access control.
Some people worry that there can be potential misuse of the RFID chip implants. This is not how many people envisioned the way RFID chips would work.
3. Health and safety worries
There have been some people who were worried about what RFID chip implants mean for their safety and if there are medical risks associated with them. The implantation process also carries potential medical risks like inflammation, infection, and discomfort.
Security vulnerabilities can make some people worried about adopting this new technology. They are worried that the data from the implant can be hacked or accessed by unauthorized people.
4. Legal issues
Without clear regulation, it becomes easy for RFID chip implants to be abused. That is why people are still unsure if they should take them. They are waiting for proper and comprehensive laws and regulations on the use of RFID chip implants.
The more you research RFID chip implants, it is possible to uncover more controversies that people have on the use of these implants.
Potential Benefits and Uses of RFID Chip Implants
You would come across RFID chip implants in different applications. It could be for humans or even for pets or livestock. We will focus more on the potential benefits of these implants in humans and see how best they can be used.
- The most common use is access control. The RFID chip implants provide a convenient way of unlocking doors or accessing secure facilities. They can still be used for activating or deactivating alarms.
- Expect them to also work well for healthcare applications. This is where the chip implants can store accurate and quick patient records whenever they are needed. You can imagine if a patient needs emergency operations, they would have their entire medical history in a chip.
- The RFID chip implants can also enhance convenience and efficiency. That is where contactless payments come in. These types of payments make transactions easier and faster. The users would simply wave their hands or wrists near a reader to complete the purchase.
- There is the emerging technology of the Internet of Things. These systems can be interconnected with such technology. This leads to smart transportation systems, smart cities, and more. The same would also work for environmental monitoring.
- We cannot fail to mention using the chips in animal identification. They are vital for tagging livestock, pets, and wildlife. The chips are essential for tracking the pet’s movements, vaccination records, and identification.
Common Misconceptions Around RFID Chip Implants
As expected, there will be several misconceptions about using RFID chip implants. It is mostly because people do not understand how the chips work or are used. Here are the common misconceptions you might have come across already.
- RFID chips are GPS trackers
- RFID implants have microphones or are listening devices
- Anyone can easily see your personal information
- RFID implants are painful and invasive
- The RFID chip implants are trackers used for government surveillance.
It is possible you have heard of many others. Just know that you can talk to professionals in the field to get accurate and factual details about the RFID chip implants.
Even though there have been controversies and misconceptions, we can see that there is so much more that the RFID chip can do in various industries. What is important is that you do more research to fully understand how good they can be for you. There is an increase in the use and acceptance of RFID chips as a way of improving convenience, such as contactless payments, access control, and more.