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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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  • 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.
  • Why not retina scans (Score:2, Interesting)

    by upside ( 574799 )
    How is this better than biometrics?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      If the chip gets compromised you can replace it. You can't do that with biometrics.
    • 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.
    • You can replace an RFID with a new one. Hard to replace your retinas though. Think of it as a smaller credit card, but instead of carrying it in your wallet, it is embedded.

      Personally, I wouldn't want to deal with the hassle of embedding. I think a smart approach would just be a small versatile chip that you could place on your watchband, a bracelet, or cellpone (whichever your prefer).

      It would just be a new identifer number to match to you. How many bits are an RFID anyways?
      • by Fembot ( 442827 )
        What about people who have more than one credit/debit card?? Will that become an impossible thing of the past?
      • 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.
        • 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.


          • WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY?!?!?!??!

            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 aheath ( 628369 ) * <> on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:26AM (#7567636)
      An implanted RFID chip is not better than biometrics. It is an alternative to biometrics that has some of the same security concerns as biometrics. There is no reason why a determined thief would prefer to remove an implanted RFID chip instead of removing an eyeball, a finger or a hand.

      I think that any biometric or RFID authentication technology should be combined with a PIN. It's just common sense to combine a secuity token that you posses with a PIN that you must memorize. This doesn't lead to perfect security, but it wraps the physical posession of an authentication token in another layer of security.

      The best argument that I can see for requiring a PIN is the ability to assign a "duress PIN" to users. A duress pin enables the security token holder to signal their distress when they are being forced to use their PIN under duress. For example, if someone held up at gunpoint and forced to use an ATM, they can enter the duress PIN. Use of the duress pin would signal the bank to notify the authorities that a robbery is in progress at a particular location. In a computer security environment, a duress PIN could be used to provide access to a honeypot network instead of the production network.

      • by tommck ( 69750 )
        There is no reason why a determined thief would prefer to remove an implanted RFID chip instead of removing an eyeball, a finger or a hand.

        Well, actually, many of the biometric devices out there can detect that a finger or hand or eyeball was removed from the body or is not alive. Many work on pulse detection, amongst other things.
        So, biometrics is more secure than a chip, unless it's got a blood pressure monitor built in or something.


  • by AnswerIs42 ( 622520 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:12AM (#7567546) Homepage
    Have them implant the chip in your middle finger.

    You can flip people off and then say, "No, I wasn't giving you the bird, I was buying a Coke."

  • Speedpass (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rhs98 ( 513802 ) *
    Its kinda like the card in HongKong called octopus - Which is used on the MTR and in shops and busses. Its great and a neat idea - you just wave your walet over the reader and thats it.
  • Mark of the Beast ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:13AM (#7567551)

    It does certainly bear similarities to said mark... I seem to recall that one had to had the mark to be able to buy goods.

    Anyway, whether it's the mark of the beast or not, I'm not going to put such a chip on my body.

    • I'm not sure everyone in the thread is going to get this joke. I believe the author is refering to the former German currency, called the mark. Though it has since been replaced by the Euro.
      • by HorrorIsland ( 620928 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:33AM (#7567698)
        Actually, the joke's on you. Revelations 13, verses 16 and 17 say...

        Rev 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

        Rev 13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

        Of course, it goes on from there. Now at least you know...
  • by billmaly ( 212308 ) <bill@maly.mcleodusa@net> on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:13AM (#7567552)
    Gut reaction here says that someone, somewhere, would setup some means of remotely reading an RFID tag, hacking whatever PW/encryption is on it, and draining bank accounts. I could see it for small transactions, tolls, fast food, gas, etc. but would be leary about this sort of thing for all financial transactions.
    • 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?
      • What stops people now from rummaging through your garbage, finding your bank statements, and draining your bank accounts?

        My paper shredder, that's what. Confetti type; cuts vertically and horizontally. Don't take your trash to the curb without using one first.

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

        I don't know what kind of information is on your bank statement, but mine and every one I've seen only have enough information to allow you to deposit into the account, not withdraw. Some hacking or social engineering would still be required to get to the point of being able to drain the account.

    • If all that would be required to debit these things is proximity to a receiver - pretty much necessary if they're to be used in the manner described - where is the security? Could someone just carry a receiver through a crowd, charging $1 from everyone who passes within a meter or so? I'll have to get me one of those!
    • 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 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.

    • 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 stor
  • Let's mandate RFID injections so we can end the /. bickering over "personal freedom" and get back to laughing at SCO and MS bashing. At least until that's illegal too.

  • 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.
    • Re:Nope. (Score:5, Funny)

      by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:24AM (#7567618) Homepage Journal
      You know, I think this is the first time I've ever been glad that America is over-run by fundamentalist Christians...
    • 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.
      • 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

    • Re:Nope. (Score:3, Funny)

      by LittleGuy ( 267282 )
      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.

      Aside from the quarter shoved up the nose on a double-dog dare when we were kids.

  • by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:14AM (#7567558) Homepage Journal
    These devices used to be so big even goatse had trouble implanting one!
  • Why not just put it in a watch or something?
    • Because then someone can steal your watch. Granted, this would actually be better than having someone steal your finger.
      • 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
  • Religion (Score:3, Funny)

    by Psiren ( 6145 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:14AM (#7567560)
    Why is it that religion really brings out the nutcases. I hope that I can get one, just so I can wind the poor confused bastards up. What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon? ;)
    • Why is it that religion really brings out the nutcases.

      Because religion is about belief; and being a nutcase is about deranged belief.

      This is not to say that all religious belief is deranged; far from it. But nutcase belief often has something in common with religion. If I hear voices in my head, is it because of my deranged brain chemistry? Or because God is speaking to me? (Answer: God only knows.)

    • Re:Religion (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mark Bainter ( 2222 )
      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 measur

    • Re:Religion (Score:3, Insightful)

      by j3110 ( 193209 )
      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 Christi
  • by PowerBert ( 265553 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:15AM (#7567566) Homepage
    I hope I don't go over my credit limit again, I don't want the bayliffs coming around and cutting ou t my credit tag.

    And anther thing, how will will I show off my gold chip? Bye bye prestige ;-( Maybe I can get a gold/platinum mark on my forehead????
  • 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.
    • If you're not doing anything wrong you have nothing to fear citizen...

  • I don't think that people would adapt this. I extremely cash, because I can clearly see how much money I still have. When having the money "for real", I can somehow relate to it - it's touchable, countable, more than just a number on a display.

    Electronic money - in whatever way, be it RFID tags or credit cards - just doesn't give me the same feeling.

    The way I feel about money is also the way of many people that I know. So, what I have observed, people are generally quite conservative when it's about money
    • 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 che
  • if the Christian fundamentalists hate it...
  • by ddilling ( 82850 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:16AM (#7567574) Homepage

    I don't know about any "Mark of the Beast" but having a chip that anyone can track, that I can't just set down? Um, yeah. Uncomfortable with that. I think my personal habits are well enough documented by shadowy figures I am unaware of already, thankyouverymuch.

    (Yes, Disney, Best Buy, etc. count as shadowy. Don't you agree?)

  • by phillymjs ( 234426 ) <slashdot.stango@org> on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:17AM (#7567583) Homepage Journal
    ...done that. []

    Lenina Huxley: That is correct, money is out-moded. All transactions are through code.
    John Spartan: Alright, so he can't buy food or a place to stay for the night. And, it would be a waste of time to mug somebody. Unless he rips off somebody's hand, and let's hope he doesn't figure that one out.

  • 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

    • >Or even nastier, finding someone with money to burn, kidnapping and or killing them and removing the chip

      if you're prepared to injure or kill to steal money, then guess what? YOU CAN ALREADY DO THAT RIGHT NOW!!!!
      • 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.
        • yes, because there isn't going to be any method of you reporting the chip stolen, or the chip being declined once your dead body is discovered is there?

          I guess we should all leave our possessions outside our houses and the car keys in the ignition. If you're dealing with someone who is willing to risk gong to jail just for some material items, you don't want to give them a reason to come into your house and put your family at risk do you?
  • For once I agree with the fundamentalist Christians. Cranial credit card implants? What next... usb hard drives in finger tips, infrared laser eye lense replacements, 5.1 audio augmentations, keyboard tattoed onto left forearm, plug-and-play genitals,...

    All this mucking about with technology has got to stop, and I for one have started a new web site (easy payments via cranial credit cards accepted) to distribute a new "down with technology" flash cartoon.

    Uhm. WTF are those people smoking, and can I hav
  • by GR|MLOCK ( 203716 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:21AM (#7567601)
    16: And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
    17: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
    18: Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

    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...
    • 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.
  • 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 quic
  • by N Monkey ( 313423 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:22AM (#7567609)
    ... That'd bring a whole new meaning to "paying an arm and a leg" for something.

    Can you imagine being robbed?!!!!
  • Hmmm... (Score:2, Funny)

    by salzbrot ( 314893 )
    That sounds interesting.

    It will probably make shoplifting impossible, combined with RFIDs on the products that could be stolen. The shoplifter sneaks out the store and hears a friendly spoken "Thank you for shopping with K-Mart!" message. D'oh!

    I will go now and try to get one of the readers for those implanted RFIDs. Then I will place it on a busy street and bill every person only $9.99 that passes by to close to the reader ;-)
  • Does this mean when I get mugged they'll be taking body parts? :) Or that instead of people using the excuse "I left my wallet at home, can you cover the bill for me?" they'll be saying "I just had a really good loofah, can you cover the bill for me?"

    It makes me a litle nervous - not quite for the privacy concerns many of the traditional tinfoil hat crowd will be worried about (which are not entirely non-valid concerns, but I don't see them as being quite as bad as they are often made out to be.) This co
  • But one thing is certain: the RF-ID chips will soon be here. And I, for one, welcome our new subdermal overlords ... and I'd like to remind them that as a fat person with lots of surface area, I can be helpful in persuading others to get the implants and toil in their underground shopping malls ....
  • New Meaning (Score:2, Funny)

    by JackJudge ( 679488 )
    I guess it gives new meaning to the phrase, "It cost me an arm and a leg".
  • 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.
  • After all the thieves and hax0rs warRFID'ing in the mall, manufacturing new RFIDs and running up my credit with black market tags, my arm will look like swiss cheese from all the replacements.
  • 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.

  • Why? Why?? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Maradine ( 194191 ) * on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:29AM (#7567664) Homepage
    Why do fundamentalist Christians have a problem with this? Every time one of the prophetic things come to pass, they're like, "my god, the number of the beast! Satan is among us! You cannot do this!!"

    Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Know Your Religion! Guess what guys? The New World Order and the anti-christ's coming are a bloody prerequisite for your savior's return. Remember that bible thing?

    You guys should be cheering this stuff on.
    • Re:Why? Why?? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gillbates ( 106458 )

      Actually, we welcome the Return of the King. But we would hate to receive the "mark of the beast" and be denied entrance to the Kingdom.

      According to one interpretation of Revelation, when these things occur, though, Christians will be persecuted in a way that will make the Holocaust seem like a fairy tale. Then, after the tribulation, the faithful will join Christ in his Kingdom.

    • Re:Why? Why?? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Chris Burke ( 6130 )
      Hey there! Welcome to "You Don't Know My Religion"!

      The prophecy of Revelations is what will happen, not what has to happen first.

      In other words -- the End Times don't occur just because some people decided to try to make it occur. They may do a pretty damn good job of recreating the living hell that is described in Revelations, but that doesn't make it Revelations.

      I could go out today and "convince" everyone on earth to wear my "Mark of the Burke" (slogan: "Easier than cash; better than being shot!").
    • Re:Why? Why?? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheLink ( 130905 )
      Unless you think you're being funny mentioning "_bloody_ prerequisite" you obviously need to read the Bible a bit more with less biased eyes, sure the the returning of the Savior is a good thing. But the coming of the Antichrist is not. There are lots of other bad things that will happen around then too.

      Why don't you go ask a mother-to-be if she's worried about labour pains (even if everyone knows it's going to go well in the end), I mean she should be cheering the birth of her baby right?

      I won't be very
  • ....but RFID-enabled humans are bit harder to tamper with.

    Ummmmm.....yeah, REAL hard for traditional thieves if you don't have a knife

    And how long until they can stand in a theatre lobby, say, with a handheld scanner, screening for the "high-rollers", ready to call upon the aforementioned thugs to roll the targets for their tags? No more guessing how much money is in the targets wallet, only go for the sure-bets

  • would have to use Chaumian digital cash. Anonymous, untraceable.

    I'd still be worried about muggers in the city cutting off my hand.

    In Soviet US, thief cut hand off YOU!
  • by Alsee ( 515537 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:32AM (#7567681) Homepage
    I could rant about how stupid these things are, about all the security holes in the system, about all of the abuses, about the violation of rights, and on and on and on. Instead I'd just like to say that if it does somehow get rammed down our throats then I want chip number 666! Thankyou.

  • Countermeasures (Score:3, Interesting)

    by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:36AM (#7567715)
    Assuming these things are adopted, I see a few countermeasures to avoid being "read" by scammers or govt officials.

    1. tin foil armband over the device to block reception/transmission of RFID bits.

    2. removable bracelet with multiple dummy chips that confuses scanners with too many hits.

    3. Scanner detector device that beeps when an RFID reader is in the neighborhood.
  • I've seen this one before. Except RFID tags were replaced by blue numeric tatoos, the picture was black and white, and the narration was in German.
  • You don't have to be a Fundamentalist Christian to want to string up anyone who advocates the implantation of these devices in human beings.

    The danger is that they will be "voluntary", as in you don't have to have the chip, unless you want privileges like the freedom to travel, medical care, a bank account, a driver's license and a job.

  • 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.
  • Too early (Score:3, Funny)

    by confused one ( 671304 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @09:42AM (#7567760)
    They're trying this too early. It'll be at least another 75 years before the masses are conditioned to allow tagging.

    At least that's what it says on the schedule I've got.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • by Jace of Fuse! ( 72042 ) on Wednesday November 26, 2003 @03:04PM (#7571426) Homepage
    "Hey, you wanna go grab a drink after work?"

    "Can't, I'm broke."

    "What? You've been working all this overtime, how can you be broke?"

    "Oh, no, I mean I'm 'BROKE'. I degaussed my monitor this morning and my RFID overloaded."

    "Man, I hate having to get surgery everytime that happens, I wish they'd just invent some kind of card we could carry around."

    "Yeah, me too, either that or maybe little pieces of paper we could carry around saying we have so much credit. We could then just barter with the pieces of paper."

    "You mean make money out of paper?"

    "Yeah. Exactly."


In English, every word can be verbed. Would that it were so in our programming languages.