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VeriChip Implants 222 People With RFID 306

cnet-declan writes "Anyone remember VeriChip, a company that came up with the idea of implanting chips in humans for tracking them? They've been behind ideas like RFID tagging immigrant and guest workers at the border, and they've persuaded a former Bush Health Secretary to get himself chipped. In this CNET article, we offer an update on how successful the idea has been. It turns out that, according to IPO documents, 222 people have been implanted, with sales revenue of $100,000."
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VeriChip Implants 222 People With RFID

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  • Re:Fancy that (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @12:04PM (#18012422)
    They already carry cellphones, so they neededn't do that.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @12:18PM (#18012612)
    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.
    Rev 13:18 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.
  • by zyzzx0 ( 935520 ) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @12:23PM (#18012680)
    1)Find a few people who've been tagged and experiment w/ this RFID tagging system.
    2)Develop 3rd party hardware and a web application that integrates w/ the google maps api to pin-point where such a person is.
    3)Create a web page called Tommy Thompson Watch that shows exactly where in the world Tommy Thompson is at any given minute! At the very least, Tommy's wife might use the site. Hell, I would... Tommy's a sexy for an old man.
  • by tomstdenis ( 446163 ) < minus poet> on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @12:26PM (#18012736) Homepage
    See what I hate is that's not actually true. As a visitor to the USA I have the same rights as any citizen, more specifically, I am entitled to the protection of the constitution of america and it's amendments.

    Note that voting [and some similar stuff] is a right only of citizens (as prescribed by law). So the law still applies to me, and bars me from voting because I'm not a citizen [etc].

    So if I entered the USA and then they decided to chip me they would be violating my constitutional rights to, among other things, the 4th amendment.

    The minute they toy with their own rules against foreigners they can expect retaliations around the world. Which is why, aside from the ban on habeas corpus, they don't really infringe the rights of legitimate visitors.

    That being said, I've never been questioned by the police in the USA. The only time I've had to talk to any law related folk outside of the border was a border patrol in upper state new york (re: budget exercise).

  • Upgrades (Score:3, Interesting)

    by boyfaceddog ( 788041 ) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @12:33PM (#18012860) Journal
    What happens when Microsoft gets into the RFID reading business? The standards in place today will be meaningless. The people with the "fist generation" RFID chips will have to have those removed and upgraded. I can see people with two, three or even four different RFID chips in their arms, legs, foreheads just to make sure all of their info is readable by whoever wants it.

    Have we learned nothing from 20 years of consumer electronic devices?
  • by Lord Ender ( 156273 ) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @12:35PM (#18012880) Homepage
    Can someone please explain to me how this is a violation of privacy? I'm seriously curious.

    The medical benefits of EMTs being able to instantly know a person's blood type, allergies, and medical history are obvious.

    What isn't obvious is why people think short-range RFID is the same as battery-powered wild animal tracking collars. Are they just stupid? Look at the way RFID works. A person CAN NOT use it to track someone as they walk around a city. A device capable of generating the power to operate these over more than a very short distance would be very obvious to spot and would probably break every PDA and wrist-watch in the area. Also, it would be IMPOSSIBLE to survey a large number of RFID devices at the same time because of the way collisions are handled.

    If you are afraid of this yet you carry a cellphone, you are a hypocrite. For practical purposes, small* RFID tags are a slightly-longer-range barcode.

    *I realize that large tags can be read from greater distances. But that's not what we are talking about here.
  • by fishbowl ( 7759 ) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @12:47PM (#18013088)

    >The medical benefits of EMTs being able to instantly know a person's blood type, allergies, and medical history are obvious.

    Can a person with an RFID implant get an MRI?
  • by HTH NE1 ( 675604 ) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @12:51PM (#18013152)

    "During the war, I was in my world's warrior class. We saved each other's lives a dozen times over."

    "Commendable! But what does that have to do with..."

    "With nanotechnology? Glad you asked! You've heard of it, haven't you? Machines too small for the human eye to see? You can even shield them, make them invisible to electronic detection. Like the one you just swallowed in that drink. I imagine it's firmly latched on to your intestinal tract by now."


    "Oh, it's nothing harmful, Ambassador! It's a location transmitter."

    [He points a pen-like device at him and presses a button. A light flashes and it emits a "beep-beep".]

    "See? It should dissolve in about... five years. But until then, Ambassador, my friends in my warrior caste have this frequency. And if anything should happen to [this place], they have instructions to track down that transmitter and... well, why spoil the surprise?"

    "This is an outrage!"

    "This is insurance. What you do here is your own business. You can scheme, and plan, and play all the games you want, but get this straight. If you ever endanger this [place] again, my people will find you. And the results will be most unpleasant."

    "I'd say he took that pretty well. Think they'll ever find that transmitter you slipped [him]?"

    "No... because there isn't one."

    "There isn't? Wait --"

    "I lied. I figured if there were a transmitter, sooner or later they'd find it and remove it. But if I just told them there was, they'd keep looking! Indefinitely!"

    "Commander, do you have any idea of the tests they'll put him through, the things they'll do to him trying to find a transmitter that's not there?"

  • Re:What the hell (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @01:02PM (#18013318)
    I have one implanted in my wrist. Am I afraid of being tracked everywhere I go? No the distance this thing broadcasts is only a couple of inches. Implanting was pretty easy too, 1 peircing needle through the wrist then just pushed the rice sized chip through the hole, I forget it's there most of the time but you can feel it if your rub your finger across the back of my wrist. Still haven't really made much use of it though but I've got enough ideas that when I have time I'll be implementing.

    As for removing them a friend of mine had hers removed. It's just a small cut with a sterilized knife and some tweezers and it's out. No big deal.
  • Re:People please... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by happyemoticon ( 543015 ) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @01:29PM (#18013716) Homepage

    While I appreciate your plea for the safety of children and appeal to the terrorism boogeyman, both of which are highly effective ways to turn a discussion into an argument and villify your opponent, the type of RFID chip used by this company (almost certainly a one meter-range passive one, as opposed to a battery-powered active chip) would not have been helpful in saving people from terrorists or child molesters. When people talk about being "tracked" by RFID tags, they don't mean that Jack Bauer will have some unobtanium-powered device with which he pinpoints your exact location, but rather that, in a hypothetical world where you need RFID tags to make purchases and enter establishments, the FBI will be able to say, "Oh look, he went to Macy's at 12:00." That is, unless terrorists are stupid enough to take their victims to McDonald's (some child abductors probably ARE stupid enough, now that I think about it).

  • Re:Fancy that (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jez9999 ( 618189 ) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @02:40PM (#18014582) Homepage Journal
    We have DNA, fingerprintes, footprints, retina scans, facial thermal imaging scans, picture photos, and voice scans. We've used race, sex, hair color, eye color, height, and wieght when searching for criminals or posting limited ID traits on DLs.

    Well, that's one hella unwieldy composite primary key, and still not guaranteed to be 100% unique! Actually, that would apply were it not for DNA, which I think probably is primary key-like in humans.

BLISS is ignorance.