“…Whilst brainjacking raises ethical concerns pertaining to privacy and physical or psychological harm, we claim that the possibility of brainjacking DBS raises particularly profound concerns about individual autonomy, since the possibility of hacking such devices raises the prospect of third parties exerting influence over the neural circuits underpinning the subject's cognitive, emotional and motivational states. “
“…Biohax have installed thousands of professionals world wide in the financial, healthcare, government, science, and technologysectors. Biohax have enabled their carriers to increase their security in the digital world, provide 100% identification clearance, and unlimited seamless experiences with their connected surroundings.” - BioHax
"...An instrument no bigger than an inhaler lodges a needle into the back of Benigeri’s arm. Woo removes his hand to reveal a white plate sitting just above the implant. Benigeri smiles. Read more at https://www.businessinsider.com/san-francisco-biohacking-continuous-glucose-monitors-2017-1#To0MjhyLcHHBIhcD.99
The American Medical Association (AMA) code of ethics released in 2007 to protect patients' receiving RFID implants emerged following an evaluation by the AMA's council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) which discussed ethical issues relating to using RFID implants for medical purposes.
Opinion 2.40 - Radio Frequency ID Devices in Humans
Radio frequency identification (RFID) devices may help to identify patients, thereby improving the safety and efficiency of patient care, and may be used to enable secure access to patient clinical information. However, their efficacy and security have not been established. Therefore, physicians implanting such devices should take certain precautions:
(1) The informed consent process must include disclosure of medical uncertainties associated with these devices.
(2) Physicians should strive to protect patients’ privacy by storing confidential information only on RFID devices with informational security similar to that required of medical records.
(3) Physicians should support research into the safety, efficacy, and potential non-medical uses of RFID devices in human beings. (I, III, V)
"...We've been putting chips in animals for 20 years," he points out. Now it is the turn of the humans."
For those interested in becoming a grinder, there’s Biohack.me, an online resource for aspiring and operational biohackers (grinders) from around the world. There, you can search for regional groups and labs to connect with (where you can purchase your own implant kit), connect with other grinders in the forum, and learn more about this subculture. If you’re into the whole implant thing but don’t want to try an NFC/RFID chip, you could start with a magnet implant by renown body modification artist Steve Haworth.
Grinders or biohackers don’t always have implants. You could biohack the quantified self way, by utilizing today’s wearable tech, apps, and data to better your life like Chris Dancy did. Although some people might call Chris a cyborg, a wearable tech guru, or a biohacker, he’s just using today’s technology in ways that seem complicated now but will seem quite normal in the future.
“The Watch is here” touts Apple’s slogan for its wearable computer, implying that the one and only time-piece that really matters has arrived. So much for the Rolex Cosmograph and Seiko Astron when you can buy a stylish digital Apple Watch Sport, or even Apple Watch Edition crafted with 18-karat gold.
If we believe the hype, one in four Australians plan to buy a wearable device by the end of the year.
Of its many features and functions, the Apple Watch is a music player, fitness tracker, communications device, payment token and digital key. And it also tells the time. We were surprised that no one claimed that it will also help look after our kids. But not for long. There’s an app for that. So is there anything this device cannot do?
Who would have thought that the power of an internet-enabled laptop computer, mobile phone, iPod, fitness tracker, bank card and set of keys could be neatly packaged and strapped around your wrist?
And unlike other futuristic visions of hand-held communicators, the Apple Watch won’t leave you stranded in perilous situations because it’s dropped, stolen or falls out of range because it’s literally always connected to you.
This raises a key question: how will we change our behaviour based on the fact that we are walking around with a fully-fledged computer – one that sits in contact with our bodies and communicates wirelessly with machines around us without us being explicitly aware of it?
According to the marketing spiel, we’ll have a lot more convenience at our fingertips. But, in actuality, we may find ourselves reaching for the mute button, longing to be disconnected, and fed up with all the notifications interrupting us. That’s when the novelty effect wears off.
We have probably witnessed people who cannot resist the urge of pulling out their mobile phone to interact with it at the most inopportune times or who pass their idle time simply looking down at a screen.
Most do not realise they are even interacting with their personal computer devices for hours each day. The repetitive behaviour has almost become a type of tic disorder which is neurobehavioural.
We get a message, it makes us feel important. We reply and get a buzz the very next time it happens again. It’s kind of like digital ping pong. And the game can get tangible fast. The main reason this repetitive behaviour remains hidden is that the majority of smartphone users suffer from this, so it looks normal.
You can see people in public spaces immersed in virtual places. These Wi-Fi-enabled mobile contraptions can also trigger a host of internet-related addictions, whether used for gaming, answering mail, web surfing, online transactions, social media, we-chatting, or taking a tonne of photographs.
According to experts, internet addiction disorder (IAD) can ruin lives by causing neurological complications, psychological disturbances and social problems. This is not to mention the potential for accidents when people are not looking where they are going or not paying attention to what they should be doing. In short, our need to be always online and connected has become a kind of cybernarcotic drug.
Little device, big data
Very few of us are immune to this yearning for “feedback loops”, so telecommunications operators and service providers pounce on this response. Information is money. And while we are busy interacting with our device, the companies are busy pocketing big money using our big data.
In days gone by, mobile communications could tell data collectors about our identity, location, even our condition. This is not new. But the real-time access and precision of this level of granularity of data gathered is something we should be all aware of as potentially impinging on our fundamental human rights.
Because they interface directly with the human body, watches have the capacity to tell a third party much more about you than just where you’ve been and where you are likely to be going. They can:
Detect physiological characteristics like your pulse rate, heart rate, temperature which can say a lot about your home/work/life habits
Determine time, distance, speed and altitude information derived from onboard sensors
Identify which apps you are using and how and why you are using them, minute by minute
Oversee the kinds of questions you are asking via search engines and text-based messages you are sending via social media.
All in all, private corporations can glean what you are thinking, the problems you are facing, and they know your personal context. What is disturbing is that they can divulge some of your innermost personal thoughts, intentions and actions, and have evidence for the reasons we do things.
Many people immersed in the virtual world are too busy to be thinking about the very act of inputting information onto the internet. People value a life of convenience over privacy too much to be genuinely concerned what information is being logged by a company and shared with hundreds of other potential partners and affiliates.
And consumers are often oblivious to the fact that, even if they are doing nothing at all, the smart device they are carrying or wearing is creating a type of digital DNA about their uniqueness.
Today, we are asking to be monitored and are partying in the panopticon. We have fallen in love with the idea of being told about ourselves and don’t discern that we have become like prison inmates who are being tracked with electronic bracelets.
By the time we wake up to this technological trajectory, it may be all too late. Our health insurance provider might be Samsung, our telecoms provider may be Google, and our unique lifetime identifier could come from Apple. At present, these are the archetypal tech providers. But tomorrow, who knows?
And by that time, we will likely be heralding in the age of uberveillance where we posit that cellphones and wristwatches are not enough, that the human-computer interface should go deeper, penetrating the skin and into the body.
The new slogan might read “The Mark is Here”, herald the iPlant, that which gives birth to life, the one and only passport to access your forever services.
“You can’t live without it”, may soon no longer be just figurative, but a reality.
"By day there were tech entrepreneurs, students, web designers and IT consultants - but that night they were going to be transformed into cyborgs.
It may sound like the beginning of a science-fiction novel, but in fact it is a recollection of real events, by bio-hacker Hannes Sjoblad.
He organised the so-called implant party, which took place in late November and was one of several he has arranged. At it, eight volunteers were implanted with a small RFID (radio frequency identification) chip under the skin in their hand. Mr Sjoblad also has one.
He is starting small, aiming to get 100 volunteers signed up in the coming few months, with 50 people already implanted. But his vision is much bigger.
"Then will be a 1,000, then 10,000. I am convinced that this technology is here to stay and we will think it nothing strange to have an implant in their hand."
This "conversation" and "debate" began a long time ago... it is not new. Just take a look at http://ro.uow.edu.au/kmichael and http://www.katherinealbrecht.com/about-katherine/books-and-book-chapters/first-chapter-of-spychips/
"Mr Sjoblad also hopes that his implant party will spark a conversation about our possible cyborg future.
"The idea is to become a community that is why they get implants done together," he says.
"People bond over the experience and start asking questions about what it means to be a man and machine.
"Curiosity is one of the biggest drivers for us humans. I come from a maker hacker culture and I just want to see what I can do with this."
For those who decide life as a cyborg isn't for them, the procedure Mr Sjoblad uses is reversible and takes just five minutes.
But he has no intention of removing his.
"We've been putting chips in animals for 20 years," he points out.
Now it is the turn of the humans.
"This is a fun thing, a conversation starter. It opens up interesting discussions about what it means to be human. This is not just for opening doors."
(Update: full disclosure, Quinn and I are friends.)
On her left ring finger, she has a magnet which is coated in silicone. It lets her feel magnetic fields, wires, and obviously, pick up some metal objects. (And no, she can't mess up hard-drives with it—it's not big enough.)
More recently, she got a NTAG216 chip implant on a hand as well, which lets her do...well, whatever she programs it to do.
"I'm not sure what all the possibilities are," Quinn wrote on her blog. "I can tell you that I'm planning to make a game that integrates it, and I can lock and unlock my phone with it super easy as well as transmit data to other compatible NFC devices like Android phones."