I’ve got you (computer chip) under my skin

It’s finally happened. The Epicentre co-working space in Stockholm, Sweden has installed a near-field communication (NFC) chip into 50 volunteers. Described as like ‘having a vaccination’, the chip is inserted into the wrists of employees under their skin. This enables them to automatically clock in and and out of work, register loyalty points, and automate many other transactions.

skinchip

Personally, the costs seem to far outweigh the benefits in this scenario. Other employers, especially military organisations and security companies are watching this new device keenly. However, for saving a few seconds each day and the perceived security threat of not having these, the intrusion into one’s private life cannot be worth it.

Wearable devices such as the Fitbit and Apple Watch are becoming ever more popular, but a non-removable device is a new frontier. The argument has always been that they allow us to collect more Big Data and process it more immediately to improve our lives, but its not clear why faster is always better.

Being able to track every movement and heart beat is the stuff of Orwell and Huxley while the benefits are cursory at best. Caution brave new world.

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