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Implanted RFID Tag To Replace Cash? 793

Kulic writes "Wired is running a story about using subdermal RFID microchips to pay for goods. Applied Digital Solutions are marketing the VeriChip as the world's only implantable ID technology. CEO Scott Silverman says they could someday replace credit cards, but a final product is a few years away. They are also receiving condemnation from some fundamentalist Christians who believe that this is the fabled 'mark of the beast' of biblical lore." waytoomuchcoffee adds a link to a similar story at CNet.
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Implanted RFID Tag To Replace Cash?

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  • NOT RIGHT (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Amsterdam Vallon ( 639622 ) <> on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:10AM (#7567534) Homepage
    This is not right. It violates privacy, integrity, and it makes me feel non-human.

    Stop treating us like MACHINES and maybe people will start acting nicely again. I AM NOT A MACHINE.
  • No it will not (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jackb_guppy ( 204733 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:11AM (#7567540)
    There is not any advanage to this unless you also believe that Home Land Secuirty is good for the country.
  • Nope. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Saint Mitchell ( 144618 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:13AM (#7567556)
    It'll not happen in the US. Waaaaaaaay too many fundamentalist Christians about. I agree with them on this one, not because it's the mark of the beast, but because I don't like the idea of something in my body being money. I still like the cred' stick idea from Shardowrun. Anonymous, secure and very convenient. Near impossible to counterfeit and no money to print.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:14AM (#7567564)
    If the chip gets compromised you can replace it. You can't do that with biometrics.
  • by kinnell ( 607819 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:15AM (#7567571)
    But seriously, who is going to want a microchip embedded in their body just for paying for stuff. Apart from the odd wierdo, most people get completely creeped out by this kind of thing. There will not be a market for this, and unless some sinister government thinks for soome reason that it's worth forcing its citizens to use this technology it's just not going to happen, because nobody will use it voluntarily. I'm sure there are serious uses for this kind of technology, but payment systems just aren't one of them.
  • by Channard ( 693317 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:17AM (#7567586) Journal
    .. transmitting a false signal and charging the goods to someone else? Or even nastier, finding someone with money to burn, kidnapping and or killing them and removing the chip? There'd have to be some sort of security mechanism for the chip to make sure the user was still alive.

    And people actually agreeing to have these things in them? These may work some day, but I can't see them actually being in common use at any point. One to put in the same file as flying cars and pill-food

  • Re:NOT RIGHT (Score:1, Insightful)

    by musikit ( 716987 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:21AM (#7567602)
    that is more like Unit 770-11-1234
  • by Deathlizard ( 115856 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:21AM (#7567603) Homepage Journal
    Outside of being able to use it via proxy, For Example, you stand in front of a vending machine, press a button and the pop comes out instead of having to look in or touch something, there is no real advantage.

    In fact its less secure that biometrics. It can be scanned for it's ID and then retransmitted, it can be stolen,(OW!) and if your account is compromised, time to call the doctor.
  • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:21AM (#7567605)
    now, I am going to steer clear of any sort of discussion regarding my absolute hatred of RFIDs and their privacy implications.

    That said... What stops people now from rummaging through your garbage, finding your bank statements, and draining your bank accounts?

    Who needs to hack any sort of PW/encryption to do it now?
  • by t_allardyce ( 48447 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:22AM (#7567607) Journal
    Why does everyone and their dog suddenly think RFID is the new sliced bread? Just because its new and it does something semi cool doesnt mean its suitable for every application. With this for example its totally unsuitable! Not only is your fucking credit card number or its alternative availiable for anyone in range to scan, but now you have a bloody tracking device attached to you hand. Where-ever you go and what ever you do, if your in range of a scanner then someones got you and yes they will pretty quickly tie that innocent number to your name - "hey bob, can you help me with this box" - afew seconds later bob's hand has been scanned from inside the box and his number is sold on the black market tied to his name and address. This is the stupidest thing ive seen in years, at the very least it must be controllable so you can disable it at will.
  • by StressGuy ( 472374 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:25AM (#7567627)
    This elimiates the anonymous purchase. No more slinking into the adult bookstore for that copy of "Wendy the Whip" Quarterly (or whatever) that is purchased with cash so it doesn't show up on your bank statement for your wife to see.
    Seriously though, if you have absolute access to how someone spends their money, you essentially know everything about them. It becomes an extreme invasion of privacy making the technological hurdles somewhat minor in comparison to the social and political hurdles.
    Regarding the mark of the beast; given that this is an implantable device, I can't help but find it interesting that the "number of the beast" is also the Unix mode number for universal device access. Don't know if that means anything, but it is an interesting coincidence.
  • by k98sven ( 324383 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:29AM (#7567659) Journal
    Just another example of people who think that just because something is technically possible and perhaps even practical in some cases, that is somehow automatically considered desireable.

    Most people don't want this. Not now, probably not ever.

    Credit cards have been around a long time too.. now wouldn't it be practical not to have to lug that heavy card around?

    Why not have credit card numbers tattooed onto the card holder? That's been technically possible for a long time, and it could also be practical in some cases.

    Would anyone suggest this? Why not? Same reasons.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:29AM (#7567663)
    That works for this generation, but what about the next one where it will be the in thing to be chipped, and they are conditioned to accept it. My parents wont use an bank machine for anything other than withdrawing cash, but I don't even think twice about doing all my bank transactions through it.
  • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:31AM (#7567674) Homepage
    Right now, if a mugger wants my wallet he can just take it instead of having to carve it out of my body.

    It's the same as unremovable transmitter bands for children -- ie a horrible idea. If you're dealing with someone who is willing to kill or maim you to get money, the last thing you want to do is give them a reason to have to do it.

    This is common sense.
  • by thule ( 9041 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:32AM (#7567685) Homepage
    I'm a Christian, and I say bring it on! A Christian shouldn't have anything to fear! Any "body mark" that could be a *requirement* for global commerce just means that the Bible's predictions are right and the Christian can rejoice that the end is near. Yay!

    Again, why should I be afraid???

    Just to be clear though, I'm not saying *I'm* going to *sign-up* for one.
  • Re:NOT RIGHT (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Total_Wimp ( 564548 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:33AM (#7567692)
    More specifically, stop treating us like ATM machines for coporations. What if I don't want to or like to spend money? What if I don't want to give my time (going to work), my dignity (begging for loans), my privacy (everywhere!) and now my very body to make if more convienient for companies to grab my cash.

    This proposal is like someone who asks to fuck you before they've bought you flowers or even kissed you. At least have the decensy to lie to us that it's real purpose is "medical information" or "education" before swooping down on our wallets.

  • by mr100percent ( 57156 ) * on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:33AM (#7567697) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, but biometrics are harder to forge, so you wouldn't need to replace it.

  • by bfg9000 ( 726447 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:38AM (#7567735) Homepage Journal
    I mean, really -- what's wrong with cash? Coins and bills have been around for a long long time, and have worked fine. Why tamper with a system that works? The systems not perfect, but it's not like I'm willing to give up my privacy and get chip implants because I can't sleep at night worrying about counterfeiters.

    This is a non-issue, except that some desperate penny stock NEEDS to make it an issue in order to stay alive. I'll stick with cash, thankyouverymuch.
  • New business plan (Score:2, Insightful)

    by HomerJayS ( 721692 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:44AM (#7567772)
    1. Make portable RFID scanner
    2. Walk down crowded street
    3. ???
    4. Profit!
  • by Speare ( 84249 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:44AM (#7567782) Homepage Journal

    What encryption? RFID as it stands has no challenge-response, it's just a static barcode readable by radio interference. When my number is stolen, do I get a new government-sponsored surgery to change numbers?

  • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:47AM (#7567800) Homepage
    Now why on earth would we worry. Strange that the text actually says in the hand or forehead, not on. I wish I could read the originals as they were written...

    I'd say you should definitely refer to the originals (or at least a scholarly analysis thereof) before hinging anything on the semantic difference between "in" and "on".

    It's the same problem that has all the Biblical literalists convinced that the earth is 6000 years old and it took exactly six twenty-three-hour-fifty-whatever-minute days to create the universe, because Ancient Hebrew the word for "day" could be translated several ways and somebody picked "day" instead of "era" or "eon".

    Not that it matters in this case, because the meaning is clear regardless: Don't let anyone put identifying markers on, in, or up your body because they seek only to own you.

    I think that's pretty good advice, no matter how sure you are the guy putting the mark on you isn't the anti-Christ.
  • by HorrorIsland ( 620928 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:47AM (#7567806)
    The return of Christ is always to be hoped for, of course. But, if it is the mark, it's still nothing to take lightly, since it means that everyone in the world is running out of time to accept Christ.

    It also means at least hardship for those who refuse to take the mark. After all, if it is the mark, it will become required for trade, and those without it will effectively be living in a perfect "trade embargo". No medicine, no food you don't grow yourself (from your own seeds!), no manufactured goods of any kind... it's hard to imagine what kind of life you could support that way. After all,even the Amish buy and sell.

  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <{tepples} {at} {}> on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:48AM (#7567808) Homepage Journal

    it must be good if the Christian fundamentalists hate it

    Yes, I know that the median Slashdot user is more much more liberal than the median devout Christian. On the other hand, I've observed that Slashdot users do seem to share quite a few hatreds with devout Christians. For example devout Christians hate murder, and devout Christians hate rape. Devout Christians hate The Walt Disney Company, admittedly for different reasons than Slashdotters do [].

  • by arivanov ( 12034 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:48AM (#7567809) Homepage
    So now instead of handing a bloke with a gun my wallet I will have to hand in my hand to be cut off. No, thanks. Not smoking that one.
  • by rah1420 ( 234198 ) <> on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:53AM (#7567843)
    "time to call the doctor." Come on. They just set up a new translation table. Or you change your PIN.


    You damn right. It's sheerest folly to think I'm gonna let a vending machine nick me for a pop without entering a PIN. Security is something you possess and something you know. This is breaking the most fundamental (no pun intended) tenets of security based transactions.

    Not to mention that I could be persuaded that The End Times Are Near as well, but I don't go into a Frothing Fit every time some invasion of privacy rears its ugly head.
  • Re:Religion (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mark Bainter ( 2222 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @10:00AM (#7567908)
    Why is it that religion really brings out the nutcases.

    I really don't think that's the case. I mean, think about it, religous or not the "masses" are poorly educated, and we boggle at the conclusions they come to on a regular basis. I mean, look how many continue to support Bush's war. Look at the support for the drug war. The number of people who buy products from spam.

    The problem isn't religion. It's that the majority of the population seems to lack critical thinking skills in sufficient measure. Anyone with real time and study invested in what they believe would know better than to claim this is the mark of the beast. Being able to buy an sell goods is *not* sufficient. Neither is it being implanted. The point of the mark is to signifiy your allegience to the "beast". The means he will employ to get you to do so is to ban you from buying and selling goods unless you have it.

    Given all of biblical history, why would anyone with decent critical thinking skills believe that God would suddenly, at the end of history, change his (unchangeable) personality and try to trick people into accepting the mark?

    Meanwhile, there are perfectly good and valid reasons to NOT take this chip, that they should be focusing on, along with the rest of the population. Like the issue of the potential for the government to track you regardless of whether you're purchasing anything or not. Or heck, for that matter, for /anyone/ to track you. Granted, it's short range, but anyone with a decent receiver and antenna could at least tail you easily.

    Aside from that, you have the issues of security. If it's implanted, that means all administration, and transactions work wirelessly. So that means anyone with the skills to hack it can also do them w/out having to be in physical contact with the device. Scary.

    So I don't think it's "religion" that brings out the nuts. I think people without the ability to manage critical thinking are generally out there, just that different issues bring out different groups of them. Every group has them, and as large a group as "Christians" is will have a lot of them. Heck, we see it here on this board within our *own* group. It's just a reality of the level of education our public schools provide. Some people are able ot rise above that and educate themselves sufficiently to reason effectively, but many people are not, or at least they don't choose to.

  • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @10:04AM (#7567941) Homepage
    ATM cards require confirmation in order to protect the contents of your bank account from someone who may have stolen or cloned your card. Credit Cards require a signature to ensure accountability and traceability. What do RFID tags do that makes them fundamentally secure?

    Nothing, apparently. Not having to type in numbers or sign a receipt are touted as the advantages of the new system. Yet traditional cards could have easily forgone the secondary identification, simply by sacrificing the security we have come to expect.

    By the proliferation of universal garage remotes out there, and RFID's lack of a challenge-response system, it's obvious that if you will be able to get within 3 feet of someone you can steal their identity without their knowledge. Without the secondary identification, the system is useless. With secondary identification, it's a credit card.

    Furthermore, why implant? Everyone has to have their keys with them at all time... The speedpass route seems like the more intelligent and flexible way to go. Implanting could be convenient once all of the bugs are hammered out and it is accepted as a universal form of payment, but for a 1st generation technology likely to be upgraded quickly, why commit?

    This reminds me a lot of the Dot Com days, when people attempted to sell anything that was possible, without even bothering to think if it should be done.

  • by *weasel ( 174362 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @10:04AM (#7567943)
    honestly this just sounds like an end-run around mastercard/visa's payment monopoly (they were found guilty btw, it's not just an accusation).

    if a new company owns an entirely new piece of hardware to facilitate purchases, then businesses must buy a new scanner to read it, and pay for a new service to verify transactions.

    and of course this service provider can then parlay this into a new service for medical and financial centers, to ensure patron identity at time of service, and provide an ideal unique identifier for records management.

    but that's why this sits opposed to a simple proposal to extend visa/mc by associating their RFID chip and a PIN to your existing credit account. that would doubtlessly be easier, but less profitable.

    personally, i dont consider it any sort of an invasion of privacy, because it's an opt-in service. if you don't like it, you don't use it.

    though one or two more 'incidents' on US soil, and I can easily see a certain liberty-leeching Ashcroft pushing for an 'update' to the Social Security and National ID Card systems to include this sort of technology.

    but it's that kind of app that's an invasion of privacy, not an optional payment system.
  • by ( 545967 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @10:05AM (#7567948)
    The number of his name - that's your credit card number, above your name, right? The "name of the beast" - some formm of recognised ID with a corporate/government name on it? Sorry, fundies, you're too late - its already happened. Any attempt at a cashless society would appear to trigger this verse.

    The Bible continues to say that the number of his (the anti-Christ) name is 666. I don't think it's the credit card number above your name.

    So fundamentalists should abhor all banking and inist on cash transactions only (which avoids the usury the bible goes on about as well). In fact, notes have serial numbers and the "name of the beast" - the government - on them. So coins only. Cpuld make life difficult in this modern world.

    Those who accept the mark will KNOWINGLY be pledging allegiance to the anti-Christ. I personally have nothing against technological advances. Believe me, though: no one will be fooled into taking the mark. All who take it will know to whom their allegiance lies.

    which avoids the usury the bible goes on about as well

    There's no point to forcing a cash-only society. The future has already been written. It's just a matter of time before it comes to pass.
  • by btharris ( 597924 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @10:05AM (#7567949)
    since everyone would have a unique number (i assume), it could help identify corpses in a graveyard or morgue, or at the site of some horrible accident where the body is otherwise unidentifiable.

    who would hold and control the databases that link these numbers to identities? this is an important question.

    i wonder if the numbers would be recycled like social security numbers. i can see websites popping up now that help you locate your numerical RFID relatives. wait, i better patent that now!
  • by AlecC ( 512609 ) <> on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @10:05AM (#7567953)
    Peopke said the same thing about notes when they first came in. "Don't trust them, real money is in coins you can handle, with different real values instead of paper promises".

    Paper money (I assume you don't deal entirely in coin) is as virtual as electronic money. The *real* value of a $1 bill is exactly the same as that of a $1000 bill - some reasonable quality paper and a bit of quality printing. Except that if it is a good forgery, it might not have that value. So why are numbers printed on bits of cheap paper more asy to relate to than numbers on a statement (also a bit of cheap paper)?
  • by Clay Pigeon -TPF-VS- ( 624050 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @10:06AM (#7567964) Journal
    If it said that rape was ok in the bible it would most likely be socially acceptable at this point, as most of our societal rules have some roots in organized religion.
  • by SpaceRook ( 630389 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @10:07AM (#7567979)
    Because then someone can steal your watch. Granted, this would actually be better than having someone steal your finger.

    Well, yeah. Thieves used to break into cars when the owner wasn't around because the underlying security mechanism was easier to bypass. Now that this isn't the case, the thieves simply wait for the owner to unlock the car and then steal it at gunpoint. Let them take my watch...they can already take my credit card if they really want to (C'mon, do you think the 17-year-old kid behind the register at Target is REALLY paying that much attention to whether the signatures match?)

  • by leonardluen ( 211265 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @10:13AM (#7568027)
    so then if i am an intellegent thief i just subtract one from the last digit and i have their real pin number/alarm code!

    maybe i should become a thief
  • my prediction (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CAIMLAS ( 41445 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @10:19AM (#7568079) Homepage
    My prediction is that all the fundamentalist Christians that decry this as the mark of the beast will be ignored, mocked, and or maybe even harassed/persecuted for their stance on this (if it ever comes to fruit mainstream).

    Then, once it's become the standard for commerce, all trade will be outlawed with anything but these tags. Anyone without one would be a terrorist, right?

    And then the government uses the tags and the respective databases and equipment to monitor and track anyone that they deem as 'suspicious'.

    I can't believe that people actually see this as being a contrived possibility, considering all the shit that's flying about, and all the freedoms that the government -and- large corporations are trying to take away from Citizens (or are we Consumers?).

    Armageddon, Mark of the Beast/666 or not, this is a Bad Thing. This falls under the blanket of the philosophy that any sacrifice of freedom for safety (or convenience) will rightly result in the deprivation of those freedoms from those that do not care enough to defend them.
  • Re:No it will not (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Catbeller ( 118204 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @10:20AM (#7568100) Homepage
    And I doubt Herr PolitzenFueher Ashcroft will have any chips planted in his body that the the Fatherland Security Department will find trackable. Nor his financial or demographic records. The Fatherland Security Act deems dissemination of such information, such as addresses or social security numbers of the Reich leaders as de facto terrorism with all the throw-your-ass-in-a-torture-chamber non-prison laws applying.

    I'm not exagerating. Remember about a month ago when some people started skywriting personal information about (Ashcroft?)to prove a point about privacy? They couldn't give a whole number because that would have violated the Fatherland Security Act and they would have been yanked from public life for thirty years.

    This is not funny.
  • by Lonath ( 249354 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @10:22AM (#7568114)
    >>For example devout Christians hate murder,

    > but didn't have much to say about Hitler did they?

    > >and devout Christians hate rape.

    >wow, such high principles. doesn't apply to not getting 14 year olds pregnant with the "son of God" though...

    You forgot about the


    Uniform Distribution of Assholes Principle: Assholes are distributed uniformly throughout the population.

    Therefore, given a large enough group, that group will have some assholes. Assholes are generally louder and more obnoxious and try to troll people who aren't part of the group, so you notice them more when you're not in the group. Most fundamentalist Christians are perfectly ok. There are some assholes, simply because there are lots of fundamentalist Christians.

    Not understanding the UDAP is the reason why so many people attacked Islam and Muslims in the US after Sept 11. They think that because some Muslims are assholes, all Muslims are assholes. When in reality, it's just that some of the Muslim assholes are now coming after the western world instead of causing trouble at home. It would be like saying that all Americans are evil if people like Timothy McVeigh had gone overseas to attack other countries as private citizens.

    The UDAP can also be generalized to the UDFP: Uniform Distribution of Flaws Principle, which states that flaws in the human character are uniformly distributed throughout the population. Therefore, stereotyping works because given the statement "All (Group) are (Flaw)." There will be a member of group Group that has flaw Flaw, and in fact the listener may have observed this on one occasion (since flaws are pretty common. :)) and may be more likely to believe the stereotype.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @10:22AM (#7568118)
    I find the concept of tagging human beings like animals to be repugnant. And anyone who desires that sort of power over fellow human beings is insane.

  • Heh heh heh... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by MukiMuki ( 692124 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @10:24AM (#7568140)

    I don't know about you, but the exact line of thinking is already embedded within our own government.

    I mean, I even recall a well-known senator once saying, in stark contrast to your own post, "I am... A MACHINE."

    Now, how creepy is that?

  • by GoofyBoy ( 44399 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @10:28AM (#7568183) Journal
    If I had mod points....

    Credit cards and Social Security numbers are one thing but tagging someone like this just goes way too far from losing individual independence and freedom.

  • Re:Nope. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cavemanf16 ( 303184 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @10:38AM (#7568274) Homepage Journal
    LOL. Well, I may consider myself a "fundamentalist" Christian simply because I do believe Christ will come again, is the Son of God, etc. etc; however the point you make is spot on for unfortunately too many of the "Christians" in America. I put the word in quotes because quite often the soccer moms who claim to be good little church-goers really don't practice what they preach anyways, and I probably wouldn't agree with them on the fundamentals of being a Christian anyways.

    So anyways, what I'm saying is that if you people have studied the Bible at all, you may have noticed that it's not really the "technology" that has anything to do with Christ's return. Ultimately, it's the anti-Christ's requiremments that every single person in the world is forced to take the mark of the Beast on the hand and on the forehead. Whether that's a tatoo, RFID tag, or WHATEVER, it doesn't matter. The Bible states no one except God the Father knows when Jesus Christ will return, and hence it's really pointless of the "fundies" you referred to, to worry much about this RFID tag stuff. I claim to be a Christian, and I'd use the RFID chip in a smart media card as my "new cash." What a great technology! God gave us brains, let's use 'em! Just as long as some dictator and/or leader isn't requiring me to put one on my hand and forehead to proclaim his greatness (basically).

    I don't have all the answers of course, I'm only human. But just know that not all true "fundamentalist" Christians deplore the idea behind this RFID tech, just maybe the uses possible. Kinda like any tech. Guns are realtively "new" technologies, and yet they can be used for both good and evil. All depends on the motives behind the use of the tech, not just the tech itself.
  • by ThosLives ( 686517 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @10:39AM (#7568295) Journal
    Where to begin on this one? Of course people are going to start spouting religious issues with something of this nature. Of course the average joe is going to be like, "uhh... what?" Of course some people are going to be like, "cool! I always lose my change anyway - I doubt I can lose my (body part)." There are so many really large issues with this, so many emotionally charged issues, that we should really step back and figure out what's going on.

    First we must ask ourselves why people are even considering such technology? Is it convenience? Is it something else? The proponents of this technology tout things like security and convenience. The security is for those who want power - they want a way to know where the people who can threaten them are. I'm not talking about with weapons, either - I'm talking about with power, with ability. They attempt to get more mechanisms of control into society oh so subtly by making it "convenient" to do things. Think about this though - is it really faster to pay by credit card like the commercials say? They always say you need ID for checks, but I would hope to goodness they check ID with credit cards as well! So personally I think the convenience and security aspect is a farce.

    The most secure financial situation, oddly enough, is a physical one - where there is actually hard currency. The reason? You actually have to posess the currency to use it. It's a whole lot more difficult to rob a safe than it is to tell a computer to move some numbers around (part of this difficulty is psychological - the rest is physical. You actually have to go somewhere and transport the currency. You have to get it, have something in which to carry it, and you have to get it to where you want it. Vastly different than computer crime - sit in a remote location, no immediate see what I'm saying, right?). Sure, with cash, you might get mugged. And if you're obscenely wealthy, you need a good place to store your cash. I think the financial gurus overlook the fact that posession is the most enforcable type of security (assuming, of course, you have a big enough stick to fend off any would-be theives).

    I think the concept of sticking something unnatural in my body just to participate in commerce is fundamentally wrong, independent of my religious beliefs. Rather than just complain about this, here are some reasons:

    It is segregatory: it automatically divides a population into the "priviledged" and "non-priviledge", the group who "works in the system" and those who "go against it", etc. etc. It's not like humanity needs any more reasons to focus on differences between people.

    It is a "rite of passage". It may be arguable that "commerce" is an inherent right of people - if you're born, you have the ability to contribute to society and probably will get the resources and toys you want in exchange for that ability. Requiring some "entry" into this arrangement (either chip, or other form of ID) can only serve to cause more social rifts. Think about the present taboo of "illegitimate children" and how this will be exacerbated by "hey you don't have an ID chip! Why not!?!"

    It objectifies people. One major problem I see today is that people forget that relationships are more important than things. The general population today is more and more selfish (I've mentioned this before) - look at all the "it's not my fault, it's theirs!" lawsuits. Look at how everyone is basically saying "let me do my thing how I want - but I'm going to tell you you can't do things how you want". When people are simply consumers and potential threats and all that jazz, we take something away from humanity.

    I guess to summarize, and before I get much more too wordy with this, it seems that this is another example of being able to do something and not considering if it should be done. There are far more implications than mere ones of faith, though those may not be least important.

    Somehow I feel as if all my deliberations on this have been random thinking, and I almost h

  • Crime Fighting (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @10:41AM (#7568311)
    If subcutinous (sp?) RFID is used for mainly for personal identification and RFID chips are embeded
    into dollar bills (euros, yen etc etc) you can
    suddenly get rid of organised crime, money laundering etc etc. Dpt of homeland security take note :-) (BTW would produce interesting FOREX rate fluctuations between RFID currencies and NON RDFID
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @10:46AM (#7568371)
    Christians consider their bodies as being a temple of God. A far more nobler concept than the nameless product of the commercial sector. It creeps me out that some people don't mind becoming walking credit cards? Then again people that only worry about materialistic things are the ones with the issues IMHO. The problem is not with the fundamental Christians. The problem is with the apathy of normal materialistic people. I mean what's wrong with a credit card or cash? I definitely don't want to be monitored 24/7.
  • Re:No it will not (Score:2, Insightful)

    by thebruce ( 112025 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @10:50AM (#7568407) Homepage
    Given so many people seem to be against this, as it stands right now it's still very far off...

    now if you believe the biblical account of the mark of the beast, according to the biblical account it's not a matter of choice that these are implemented. It won't be a "oh this is cool, I should get this" choice that people make. biblically it's the antichrist that requires people to get this. As you said (food for thought) what if everyone eventually believes that Home Land Security (in whatever form it may be in the future) IS essential? What if the leader at that time is 'forced' to make a decision, maybe due to continued terrorist threats or disasters, that homeland security must be increased to a mandatory advanced tracking system? What if something happens that eventually causes the masses to value this highly advanced tracking system for all citizens so only citizens have 'freedom' within the country?

    if you think about it, right now the chances of something like this being implemented on a wide scale are practically nil. Combine it with imminent threat, so it becomes the 'best choice' amidst other undesirable choices or risks, and it's got a good possibility...

    just food for thought... I'm not a conspiracy theorist :)
  • Re:No it will not (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blackbear ( 587044 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @10:57AM (#7568484)
    I think people should stop personalizing this to John Ashcroft. It's not just him, or this administration. It's our entire corrupt government. Get rid of Ashcroft and they replace him with an idealogical clone. Elect a Democrat president and they replace him with an Democrat idealogical clone.

    As long as we continue to allow our government to swill from the keg-o-power, it will continue to encroach on freedom and maintain a life of its own. This is historically axiomatic. America will eventually become tyranical if the people don't act to stop it before they loose that power completly.

    It's no accident (though perhaps coincidence) that someone is developing a way to use RFIDs for commerce. It is money that is the source of all governmental power. When someone takes your money and gives nothing, they are taking away the time you spent earning it. Money is very much more important than people seem to understand, and in a society that is wealthy enough that even the poorest often have enough to buy luxuries, few seem to understand that taking it from you is not diferent than going into your pantry and taking the food from your shelves, or taking the tools from your shed, workbench, or desk.
  • by beorach ( 682576 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @11:03AM (#7568555)
    I'm sure someone already mentioned this... and the Fatherland Security post was getting there... but isn't everyone reminded of the Holocaust? I think I will steer clear of any identification implanted in my skin - be it a tattoo or a RFID.
  • by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @11:10AM (#7568626) Homepage Journal
    What I imagine is a new "customer convenience" feature: To buy something, all you have to do is pick it up and walk out of the store. The RFID sensors would identify you and the things you're buying, and automatically charge your account.

    At least that's what the advertising would tell you.

    What would also happen is that the RFID sensors would also identify the articles of clothing that you're wearing from their embedded chips, and would charge you for those, too. And every time you went out of that store, you'd be charged again for everything you're wearing.

    After a while, of course, customers would wise up to this and raise a stink. So the stores would fix the bug. They'd only pick one or two such items, and only when you're carrying a lot of new purchases. That way, you probably wouldn't notice the extra charges, unless you were really a stickler for checking every purchase. And even then, you'd face taking off a day of work and trying to prove to them that they'd included an extra charge.

    And if you tried to pay for something with cash, you might find yourself also being charged via the RFID. This has a precedent here in Massachusetts. The local toll roads have a "Fast Lane" electronic toll collection scheme. Usually it works well. But something that some people have found: In heavy traffic, sometimes you can't reach the Fast-Lane tollbooth. If you decide to go through a cash-only booth, there's a good chance that the sensors will detect your car and charge your account in addition. Sure, you can challenge it, and you'll probably win easily. But you'll have to take at least one day off work, and that's a steep price to pay to get maybe a $1 refund.
  • Re:Religion (Score:3, Insightful)

    by j3110 ( 193209 ) <> on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @11:17AM (#7568706) Homepage
    Any being that resorts to torture because his creation doesn't do what he wants is not devine nor perfect. Infact, it's very childish. I don't set my computer ablaze because my program has a bug. I don't insist that the program corrupted itself because I gave it the ability to be corrupt. And lastly, I don't claim to love anything then torture it when it doesn't love me back. I think I'm a better person than the Christian god, because I don't have to inflict my will on any other being. Even if Christianity is right, I don't want to have any part of that kind of "love". If a god wants me to believe or love him, giving me a book full of threats and contradiction is not a step in the right direction.

    So... to answer your question, just about anyone that believes in that kind of thing has to be nutcase to begin with. Rational, logical thought is at odds with the popular definition of faith (unfounded belief). Rational people don't believe in the tooth fairy. Most rational people will say there is no convincing evidence yet that there is or is not a creator.

    Most rational people wouldn't fight this if it was:
    Secure (More like smart cards)
    Anonymous (Vendor makes a transaction, Bank/Credit company signs transaction, you sign the signed transaction that the Bank/Credit company gives you the key for that Bank/Credit company... Must be several credit companies and banks so you can pick the ones you trust and assign them the keys you want.)
    Safe (Has this kind of thing been tested?)
    Convenient (I don't have to sleep with my hand on a magnetic pad to charge it do I?)
    Controlled (I should be able to control every aspect of the device... even turning it on and off. I don't want the government, enemies, or criminals using it to track me, but medical personell and family should be able to.)

    This device is far, far from optimal. I don't even know if it's possible to make a smart enough device that I could trust. There would definately have to multiple vendors of said chip. In fact, I probably wouldn't trust it unless the spec was public and I could build my own.

    That said, it holds a lot of promise. I would make mine determine blood alcohol level and keep me from starting my car. Of course my car would only start for me, and I wouldn't need a key for anything. I would store my diary on it, encrypted of course. I would put a buz function in it to alert me of my meetings. I would probably actually put it near my ear, so it could actually deliver voice. I would use it to sign email. I would have the possiblity of having multiple identities on my same chip. I would try to get enough storage for audio books for long flights, and even some porn! It should be able to pick up my voice, so it should be able to be used as a cell phone with some of those inexpensive, small, voice recognition chips they put in cell phones. (I like cancer!... actually you would probably install a lot of it on top of your head with some kind of stainless steal shielding.)

    The more I think about it, the less I see this as needing to be internal. Why not just have a cell phone like PDA that requires you're thumb print and a password to sign transactions. Sure, it'll be expensive, but not if the government would stop trying to spy on everyone. If the government would stop crashing satelites into the atmosphere, this would probably have been possible with irridium.
  • by tgv ( 254536 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @11:45AM (#7569002) Journal
    How did this get a +2 score? The savior never arrived, I'm sorry to tell you. And the flood never happened. And it wasn't foretold neither; it was history by the time the bible was written. And about the resurrection? Appealing and powerful tale, but as true as the rest of the bible.
  • Re:NOT RIGHT (Score:3, Insightful)

    by seraph93 ( 560551 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @12:23PM (#7569419)
    Haven't you heard? Taking money from us isn't a *privilege* the corporations have, it's a *right.* Supporting them with your money isn't your choice, it's your duty. If you don't like it, too bad. They have enough resources to buy whatever legislation it takes to get you to comply.

    This proposal is like someone who asks to fuck you before they've bought you flowers or even kissed you.

    No it isn't. When someone asks for a quickie, you can say no. You don't have an option here. You're a consumer, not a citizen. You're a source of revenue, not a human being. So bend over already! And don't forget to buy some flowers this time.
  • by ahodgkinson ( 662233 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @12:44PM (#7569708) Homepage Journal
    With an embedded RFID chip you would not only leave records of what you purchased, but also where you have been. What's to prevent the collection of individual RFID numbers by installing of RFID readers in every office doorway, lamp post, parking meeter, etc.? They obviously wouldn't debit your account, but they could passivly forward the time and your ID code to some secret location when you walk by.

    In fact they already have devices that do this, but they are not (yet) implanted. They are called ankle transponders and have been used as an alternative to prison. Have a look at this [] or this [] article.

    Worse, in the near future, you probably won't even be able to hide your cash transactions. RFID tags embedded in bank notes are on their way. The EE Times reports [] that in Europe it's planned for 2005.

    Oh, but how will they know who I am when I spend tagged cash? It's pretty simple, by one of the following methods:

    • You took the money out of an ATM and the ID numbers were logged with your name during the withdrawl.
    • You had your mobile phone with you, which pings the local cell.
    • Got the money from someone else, but it's detected because (the currently faulty) facial recognition software attatched to the video camera in the shop (or streetcorner) where you made the purchase.
    • The passivly track cash moving through the city, just like they track the people.
    If you want a quick overview of where we're headed with RFID have a look at this [] article.

    Technology is amazing, and the current convergence of computing power, large databases and tiny radio transponders even more amazing. I don't know about you, but I also find it pretty scary.

  • by kill -9 $$ ( 131324 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @12:47PM (#7569749)
    I knew somebody had to bring this up. Somebody should mod the parent up.

    This was my exact thoughts. Its one track thinking, "well now they can't take your credit cards and or money because there's no money to take because of the chip". At that point (chip == money/credit cards). Have the chip, or the value stored on the chip, you effectively have the money. And if I were a robber, I'm going to take the smash (or slice in this case) and grab approach and worry about deciphering/using the chip later.

    An to those who say, well the chip might have smarts to not work in a dead hand and/or you can report it as stolen, I'll still lose my hand, because many criminals are dumb and wouldn't understand that concept until after my hand is missing.

  • by u-235-sentinel ( 594077 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @01:06PM (#7569980) Homepage Journal
    I don't blame you. Personally why would anyone have surgery if they didn't need it? Sure, liposuction and plastic surgery but this? I had surgery years ago to remove a growth and it was VERY unpleasant.

    "Applied Digital officials say such concern is unfounded because people are chipped voluntarily."

    Not to troll here but think about it. Today it's valuntary but what about tomorrow? As with most things in the Government we find that temporary things become permanent. I wouldn't be surprised if this became a requirement in the future.
  • Re:NOT RIGHT (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Directrix1 ( 157787 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @01:27PM (#7570241)
    I can't wait to go wardriving for people's personal account info. Fun! Also, I can't wait for the future where when I get robbed, instead of just losing petty cash, I lose my entire account and I get my hand chopped off too. Even more fun.

    But seriously though, why don't we all just have credit card size cards that require a pin to use, and instead of giving out an account number to sellers. It gives out a RSA signed transaction using the card's private key, and public x509 cert (issued by visa of course). And it does this through a connector on the edge that has a male on left female on right jack so you can just hook two cards together, or jack your card into your bank to get more cash. Doesn't this make a bit more sense. You can have cards that only carry a certain amount for petty cash.
  • by ckaminski ( 82854 ) <slashdot-nospam@ ... om minus physici> on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @01:35PM (#7570327) Homepage

    When it's so much easier to just walk past 10,000 people with a RFID reader, steal 10,000 accounts, run them all through crack, and end up with some good accounts?

    Because you KNOW there are morons out there who use 1111, 1234 or 5555 as PIN numbers.

    And you don't have to worry about washing the blood out...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @07:56PM (#7573824)
    • Aggie walks into a bar with a big, steaming cowchip in his hands and shouts "Look what I almost STEPPED in!"

    ----- I didn't use to believe in Conspiracies... but that before I witnessed the power of the fully operational battlestation that is the Mass Media. The moment when it finally hit home to me that something sinister was going on was watching the Machine resurrect the career of Meatloaf right before my very eyes. Don't get me wrong, Meatloaf seems like a nice guy, but I'm just saying, "I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" How does something like that just happen? His career was deader than Julius Caesar and whammo, suddenly, the song is NUMBER ONE! Hose me down with holy water if I get too hot? Are you kidding me? Number one song in America folks. #1. Meatloaf.

    And now we've got things far more nefarious than the lyrics of Jim Steadman to worry about, like a friggin chip that goes under your flesh and tracks every single place you might go and whatever it was you bought when you got there and there are people here so throughly manipulated that they root for it because anything that freaks the Bible-believing Christians out can't be all THAT bad, right?

    Wake up and smell what they're shovelling down your throat!

    A View to a Shill

    Andy Rooney shills the Mark to "the greatest generation." Andy Rooney [] saying "We need some system for permanently identifying safe people. Most of us are never going to blow anything up and there's got to be something better than one of these photo IDs - a tattoo somewhere maybe."

    Thank you Number 89, we'll deposit those work units in your account once we bring the Village fully online.

    For the WIRED generation, it's Kevin Warwick and his ilk. In an interview with Geek News, the Jaron Lanier of Cybernetics had this to say "I have read many letters and emails about the 'mark of the beast'. Although I do not consider myself to be a beast, if you actually read the passage in the bible [Heaven forbid!] then there may well be something in it! Essentially, it is saying that those who have the mark will be a part of the action, those that do not will be out of it. This could easily become true."

    Or how about this one, the DisInfo [] entry on Kevin Warwick. And of course, the crazed religious paranoia of religious cults who insist that the 'Mark Of The Beast 666' will take the form of microchips planted on the forehead and right hand of the unbelievers may just have a point after all.

    For the Baby Boomers, well, let's telecast the Jacobs' Family getting chipped on Good Morning America, the Today Show, Fox News, CNN, TelefrigginMundo for cielo's sake!

    Give it to Mikey. He'll eat anything

    In the words of Jacques Ellul [] "the educated man does not believe in propaganda; he shrugs and is convinced that propaganda has no effect on him. This is, in fact, one of his great weaknesses, and propagandists are well aware that in order to reach someone, one must first convince him that propaganda is ineffectual and not very clever. Because he is convinced of his own superiority, the intellectual is much more vulnerable than anybody else to this maneuver..."

    The completion of the Ziggurat...

    ...establishes our Metropolis | as the world leader... industry, economics and culture.
    ....Thus is born a state that | will last a thousand years!
    ....I tremble at the honour | of announcing...
    ... the culmination of humanity's | long history of intellect and science.
    ....Our power spans the e

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner