Implantable Microchips Will Soon Revolutionize Humanity
Modern technological advancements will not only make our lives easier and more enjoyable, but they will also make us healthier, more resilient, and safer. Future generations will be better equipped to deal with and recover from potentially deadly illnesses and devastating disabilities because of the widespread availability of information made possible by computer processors.
The idea that a microchip implant could serve as an individual's "home key" is attracting attention from people worldwide, but there are other, more compelling uses for human implants that are still to come. This is made possible by the rapidly advancing technologies that will become available in the next 20 years.
Consider the findings of Elon Musk's Neuralink firm researching brain chips. Rather than taking my word for it, do your own investigation.
Moore's Law is the observation that the number of transistors on a microchip double approximately every two years, which results in a corresponding increase in computing power and a reduction in their cost. It has been a primary motivation behind the significant technological innovation leaps.
The practice of implanting computer chips inside human beings is still in its preliminary phases and has not yet reached a point where it is a commonplace. Some limited research and pilot programs have evaluated the possible advantages of implanted chips for medical purposes, such as recording vital signs or controlling chronic illnesses. Using studies and initiatives have also investigated the ethical concerns of these chips.
Currently, more than 50,000 individuals have decided to replace their credit cards or swipe keys with a subdermal chip surgically implanted between the thumb and index finger. More than two thousand people in Germany have chosen to have these implants; one of them was even put to use to preserve a link to the individual's final will and testament.
As the storage capacity of chips continues to improve, users may soon be able to access libraries worth of knowledge in a matter of seconds, which will facilitate research and help people find solutions to issues.
Even though it may seem like something out of a science fiction novel, computer chip implants are one of the many new technologies developing as part of the Internet of Things (IoT), which is an increasingly digital universe of wirelessly linked internet-enabled gadgets. Hackers that focus on IoT vulnerabilities in sensors and network design may also try to exploit flaws in chip implants, according to the concerns of certain experts. RFID chips are identifying transponders that normally contain a one-of-a-kind identification number and can be tagged with user data such as medical records, social media accounts, and financial information. RFID stands for radio-frequency identification.
Because RFID chips are passive transponders, the digital reader must be placed a few inches away from the user's microchipped hand in order to connect. On the other hand, near-field communication (NFC) chips employ electromagnetic radio waves to wirelessly share with nearby digital readers, similar to smartphones and contactless credit cards. The international adoption of NFC over RFID is an advantage, according to Biohax: "With the strength of current infrastructure and the large variety of services and products that already support the NFC standard internationally, one significant benefit of ours is that we overlap nearly any corporate or public sector that is already using NFC or mobile technology."
According to Propeller Insights' 2021 United Kingdom-based consumer poll on digital payment trends in Europe, 51% of the almost 2,000 respondents stated they would consider obtaining a chip implant to pay for services. This technology is very popular in Sweden as a cash alternative. "Only one in every four individuals in Sweden uses cash at least once a week," according to NPR. More than 4,000 Swedes have swapped key cards for chip implants, which they may use for gym entrance, e-tickets on trains, and storing emergency contact information.
According to BioTeq, a UK-based technology startup, the technology may potentially provide enhanced mobility for patients with physically limiting health issues such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and motor neuron disease. "A wheelchair-mobile person may approach a door, and the scanner will open the door, reducing the requirement for keys that the person may not be able to use for themselves," for example. BioTeq is also investigating the possibility of delivering microchip services for visually impaired persons to produce "trigger aural or touch-sensory cues" in the house. Despite these advantages, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists claims that the primary difficulties to chip implantation are security, safety, and privacy.
According to NFC.org, a general security problem with NFC technology is that it might allow third parties to eavesdrop on device communication, alter data, or launch interception attacks. Interception attacks occur when someone intercepts data sent between two NFC devices and then modifies the data as it is delivered. Like any other gadget, these personal chips have security flaws and might be hacked, even if placed beneath the skin.
Concerning health safety, a 2020 research collaboration with the American Society for Surgery of the Hand found that RFID chip implants may provide possible health hazards such as negative tissue reactivity and incompatibility with some magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) devices. Several social scientists are also concerned about privacy and human rights implications if the body is turned into a "human barcode."
Chip implants, according to microbiologist Ben Libberton of Stockholm's Karolinska Institute, can reveal sensitive personal information about your health as well as "data about your whereabouts, how frequently you're working, how long you're working, if you're taking toilet breaks, and things like that."
Interestingly, professor Kevin Warwick of Reading University was the first to implant a microchip in himself in 1998; he wanted to see if his computer could wirelessly follow his movements at work.
At least ten state legislatures in the United States have approved legislation preventing companies from compelling employees to undergo human microchip implants. Indiana was the most recent state to prevent companies from asking employees to be chipped and discriminating against job seekers who declined the implant.
Nevada's Law is the most stringent - although not a complete prohibition, Nevada Assembly Bill 226 forbids a Nevada officer or employee from "creating a program that permits a person to freely decide to endure the implantation of such a microchip or permanent identifying marker."
As the impact and influence of chip implants grow in the United States, complex questions for state legislatures and courts to consider will arise, such as third-party liability for cybersecurity, data ownership rights, and Americans' rights under the Fourth Amendment, as well as the protection of sensitive digital data under the Supreme Court's 2018 decision in Carpenter v. United States.
Microchips provide enticing convenience and mobility benefits but pose cybersecurity, privacy, and health threats. However, the burden of protecting consumers cannot be placed only on the Law. Instead, customers must understand their data rights as part of digital literacy, and technologists must support cybersecurity-informed engineering at all stages of product creation. Furthermore, policymakers must strike a careful balance between preserving the spark of technical innovation and growth and guarding against oversimplification and misuse. "Technology is neither good nor evil nor neutral," remarked technology historian Melvin Kranzberg.
The Internet of Things (IoT) technology of chip implants includes radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips and near-field communication (NFC) chips. RFID chips are passive transponders that must be within a few inches of a digital scanner for the implants to function.