Freedom, human rights, and autonomy are all impinged by embedded surveillance devices. One's right to choose for themselves is curbed by machine-like learning.
"About 2.7 million Americans served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and at least 20 per cent of them have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The US Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (Darpa) says it can reduce this number by treating war veterans using chip implants.
Researchers at the organisation say wireless 'neuroprosthetic' brain implants will also help restore memory functions and heal traumatic brain injuries."
"MANILA, Philippines – The next big thing in computing could be a glass-encased chip embedded under the skin of your left hand.
Think of it as an extension of the wearables that can track your movement, your sleep, your heart and pulse rate now. Chip implants can do so much more.
In its early stages today, it can store data that can be read by Near Field Communication (NFC) readers. Technically speaking you can open your door, your car just by scanning your hand in the NFC reader. It can serve as your key or access pass to the gym, the library, the office, or wherever is it that requires identification.
If you think that chips embedded in the human body can turn you into a cyborg, fear not because the reality is less frightening than that, according to Hanness Sjoblad, Chief Disruption Officer and Founder, BioNyfiken.
In a presentation entitled “Chirping Humans: The Internet of Things Becomes the Internet of Us,” at the Kaspersky Lab APAC Cyber Security Summit in Malaysia recently, Sjöblad, along with Rainer Bock and Sergey Lozhkin of Kaspersky Lab, explained that while still a rarity (only around 10,000 people around the world have chips implanted in their hand), it is fast gaining attention, especially in Europe and the US.
The use cases are built around the ease and convenience of not having to carry around too many things in your wallet or your handbag. Just scan your hand and you’re good to go.
Sjoblad said there were many interface moments in computing history that made human interaction with computers a lot simpler. Using computers before Windows, for example, is an absolute pain. It’s the same way with using the Internet before the Web browsers. Windows and Web browsers are only some of the landmarks in computer interfaces that have made it very easy for people to interact with computers.
“My personal take is that implants represent a similar interface moment between humans and technology because of the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT),” Sjoblad said. “Our world will be filled with connected things. If you have a smart device in your hand you have automatic way to interact with technology.”
Defined as the network of physical objects embedded with software, sensors and connectivity, IoT is indeed growing rapidly. Juniper Research recently reported that the number of IoT connected devices is on track to reach 13.4 billion this year and is expected to rise to 38.5 billion by 2020. These connected things have varied applications in retail, agriculture, smart buildings and smart grid applications, to name only a few."
In a TV interview while still on the board, [Tommy] Thompson was explaining the benefits and the ease of being chipped when an interviewer interrupted:
"I'm sorry, sir. Did you just say you would get one implanted in your arm?"
"Absolutely," Thompson replied. "Without a doubt."
"No concerns at all?"
But to date, Thompson has yet to be chipped himself.
Researchers have been making progress in developing mind-controlled robotic limbs, with one patient's case reported in an issue of Science.
The patient has two tiny chips implanted in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC), which controls the intention to move. That's in contrast to the handful of other paralyzed individuals who've been given similar implants. But in those cases, the chips have been placed in the brain's motor cortex, which is involved in the direct execution of movement. It's a key distinction, explained senior researcher Richard Andersen, PhD, a professor of neuroscience at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
Signals sent from the brain's motor cortex are involved in the details of movement — like "lift the arm" and "extend the arm." Signals from the PPC are "higher level," and related to overall goals, such as "I want to pick up that cup." So devices implanted in the PPC could make it easier for people to control a robotic arm with their thoughts, and make those movements more fluid and natural, Andersen told HealthDay.
But the company behind the VeriChip, Applied Digital Solutions, says it is in the process of developing a chip that will contain GPS-tracking technology that would allow kidnap victims to be tracked with satellites. (The company says it is exploring a market in Latin American countries.)
Some experts are skeptical, saying the technology has substantial hurdles to overcome before such a device would be viable. Among them: making a gadget small enough to implant, and finding a way to charge the battery that doesn't involve plugging yourself into an electric socket.
While it will no doubt be a few years before chip implants rival cellphones as a must-have wireless accessory, there are a few options available. In November, for example, a company called Wherify Wireless began marketing every kid's worst nightmare: a "GPS Child locator" wristwatch that allows parents, via the Web or a phone call to a special hotline, to home in on their kids and pinpoint their exact current street address.
The watch, which sells for $400 plus a $25 to $50 monthly fee, operates on the Sprint PCS cellphone network and includes a 911 call button. (It comes in "Planetary Purple" and "Galactic Blue.")
Other options include the $400 "Digital Angel," which uses the AT&T wireless network and features a clunky, cigarette-pack-size unit that clips onto a belt. It also has a temperature sensor that can alert you if the wearer steps outside (or, say, into molten lava). It is sold by Applied Digital Solutions, the company that makes VeriChip.
In addition, there are car-tracking gadgets, like the $800 GlobalGuard, which can be installed in vehicles to keep tabs on anyone from adventurous teenagers to errant spouses to executives in danger of abduction. The device is available through Satellite Security Systems in San Diego.
“In the long run, chip implants could make it less intrusive than some emerging ID systems which rely on physical biometrics (like your fingerprints or unique eye pattern),” says Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, author of the book “Distraction Addiction” and visiting scholar at Stanford's University’s Peace Innovation Lab.
“This should be a matter of individual choice, but fighting crime should be much easier using chips,” adds sci-fi author Larry Niven, who predicted chip implants in the ’70s. Niven said he supports chip implantation for security reasons, provided it is an opt-in measure.
Ramez Naam, who led the early development of Microsoft software projects and is now a popular speaker and author, said he envisions using chip implantation to help monitor the location of people with Alzheimer's disease.
They could be used to track the activities of felons who have been released from prison.
Chips are being used today to manage farm animals. Farmers can track sheep, pigs and horses as they move through a gate, weigh them instantly and make sure they are eating properly.
Device Under Skin Tells Doc You're OK (Or Not)
“Those same chips have found their way into RFID devices to activate the gas pump from a key ring and for anti-theft devices in cars,” said Stu Lipoff, an electrical engineer and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers spokesman.
“There have been people who volunteered to use them for opening the door of an apartment as a personalized ID using your arm. It could be used to track criminals targeted for patrol who might wander into a restricted area.”
Possible uses in the future
Implants are normally useful only at short ranges – as you walk through a portal or close to a transponder. So using chip implants to track people would require an infrastructure of transponders scattered around a city that read their identity in public buildings and street corners, Lipoff said.