Microchipping at work: US employees get voluntarily implanted at staff 'chip party'

Updated yesterday at 10:54am

Employees of a Wisconsin technology company who received a microchip implant in their hand said they felt only a brief sting during the procedure.

Key points:

  • Employees of a Wisconsin company have been voluntarily microchiped
  • It is the first US appearance of technology that is already available in Europe
  • The microchips will allow employees to log onto the company system, open doors and buy snacks

Three Square Market, also known as 32M, said 41 of its 85 employees agreed to be voluntarily microchipped during a "chip party" at company headquarters in River Falls yesterday.

The technology will allow employees to open doors, log onto computers or buy breakroom snacks by simply waving their hand.

"We came across this and saw it being used in other societies, we said why not us?" 32M chief operating officer Patrick McMullan said.

"Why not us, bring it and provide a solution that we can use for so many different things."

PHOTO: A microchip is shown compared with a dime at Three Square Market in Wisconsin. (AP: Jeff Baenen)

Melissa Timmins, vice-president of sales at 32M, said after learning more about the technology she decided to try out the chip.

"I'm excited to see what this can do," Ms Timmins said.

"I was a little apprehensive about more of the health part of it and actually implanting something into my body.

"But from day one I was excited about what we could do with the technology itself and where it could go for our company."

Ms Timmins said she hoped to eventually use it to get into her car or go shopping.

Noelle Chesley, associate professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin, said microchipping could give employers more power over their staff.

"Is it really voluntary when your employer is asking you if you would like to be microchipped?" Ms Chesley said.

"Will there come a day where people who prefer not to be microchipped won't get certain jobs?"

Ms Chesley said she thought implanting microchips into all people would be the wave of the future.

Company leaders said this was the first US appearance of technology already available in Europe.

Three Square Market paid for the $300 microchips.

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-02/microchip-workers-hold-chip-party/8765934

Smartphones, tablets and e-readers should have an automatic "bedtime mode" that stops them disrupting people's sleep, says a leading doctor.

Prof Paul Gringras argued the setting should filter out the blue light that delays the body clock and keeps people awake later into the evening.

The doctor, from Evelina Children's Hospital in London, said every new model was "bluer and brighter".

He said manufacturers needed to show more "responsibility".

As it gets darker in the evening, the body starts to produce the sleep hormone melatonin - which helps people nod off.

Certain wavelengths of light, those at the blue-green end of the spectrum, can disrupt the system.

Prof Gringras was part of a study, published in Frontiers in Public Health, analysing the light emitted by devices.

It concluded there was a clear trend for new devices to be bigger, brighter, have higher levels of contrast and emit more blue light.

The professor of children's sleep medicine told the BBC News website: "That is great for use in the day, but awful for use at night.

"There is converging data to say if you are in front of one of these devices at night-time it could prevent you falling asleep by an extra hour."

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"Google Ventures’ President Bill Maris, who helps direct investments into health and science companies, recently made headlines by tellingBloomberg, “If you ask me today, is it possible to live to be 500? The answer is yes.”
As a transhumanist, my number one goal has always been to use science and technology to live in optimum health indefinitely. Until the last few years, this idea was seen mostly as something fringe. But now with the business community getting involved and supporting longevity science, this attitude is inevitably going to go mainstream.
I am thrilled with this. Business has always spurred new industry and quickened the rise of civilization.
However, significant challenges remain. The million dollar question is: How are we going to overcome death? It’s a great question—and it’s a very common question transhumanists get asked. It’s usually followed by: And is it really possible to overcome death?"

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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.

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5. The pros and cons of human-implanted RFID chips
The supporters of human-implanted RFID chips believe that such chips will allow the governments to locate fugitives, witnesses of crimes, and missing persons. The authorities of Indonesia’s province Irian Jaya even discussed the use of implanted RFID chips for the monitoring of persons infected with HIV. Such a monitoring will allow the authorities to act in case that some of the monitored people conducts activities that may lead to infection of other people. Probably because the existing human-implanted RFID chips do not allow GPS tracking, the authorities of Irian Jaya did not adopt legal provisions concerning the use of RFID chips. However, in the future GPS implants can be created. The appearance of such implants may renew the discussions concerning tracking of HIV-infected people.
The opponents of human-implanted RFID chips argue that such chips are associated with security risks, cause health problems, contradict to religious doctrines, and may be forcefully implemented in employees. The security risks of such devices have been already discussed in this article. In relation to health problems, the aforementioned paragraph from a document of FDA clearly indicates the risks for the health caused by RFID chips. Moreover, the opponents state that the use of human-implanted RFID chips may lead to cancer. These allegations are based on scientific studies carried out from 1996 to 2006. The studies found that lab mice and rats injected with microchips sometimes developed cancerous tumors around the microchips.
In relation to the religious doctrines, many Christians believe that the implantation of chips may be fulfillment of the prophecy of the mark of the beast mentioned in the Book of Revelation of the New Testament. The Book of Revelation states that the devil will force “all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.” It is also worth mentioning that, according to the Islam, body modifications constitute “haram,” an Arabic term meaning “forbidden.” This is because such modifications involve changing the body, a creation of Allah.
Pertaining to the forceful implantation of RFID chips, it should be pointed out that, in June 2004, a former attorney general in Mexico required eighteen employees to implement chips allowing them to access a sensitive records room. In order to prevent employers from requiring their employees to implement RFID chips, several U.S. States adopted laws prohibiting forced microchip implants in humans. These states include Wisconsin, North Dakota, California, Georgia, and Virginia.

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Jul 17, 2007—The American Medical Association (AMA) has officially established a code of ethics designed to protect patients receiving RFID implants. The recommendations focus on safeguarding a patient's privacy and health, and are the result of an evaluation by the AMA's Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) regarding the medical and ethical implications of RFID chips in humans, as well as a follow-up report recently released. The latter discusses the possible advantages and specific privacy and ethical issues of usingRFID-enabled implantations for clinical purposes. 

Entitled "Radio Frequency ID Devices in Humans," the report is presented by Robert M. Sade, M.D., who chairs the CEJA. It acknowledges that RFID's use in health care "represents another promising development in information technology, but also raises important ethical, legal and social issues." The report adds, "Specifically, the use of RFID labeling in humans for medical purposes may improve patient safety, but also may pose some physical risks, compromise patient privacy, or present other social hazards." 

The AMA's report identifies three specific recommendations: The informed-consent process must include disclosure of medical uncertainties associated with these devices; physicians should strive to protect patients' privacy by storing confidential information only on RFID devices utilizing informational security similar to that required for medical records; and physicians should support research into the safety and efficacy of RFID devices implanted in human beings, and examine the role of doctors regarding the nonmedical uses of the technology. 

The recommendations now serve as ethical guidelines for physicians and caregivers, explains Steven Stack, M.D., a member of the AMA's board of trustees, and are officially part of the AMA's medical ethics code. While not law, the AMA's code of ethics has long served as a standard of conduct defining the essentials of honorable physician behavior. 

"The AMA is the largest professional organization representing the interest of physicians and patients in the U.S.," Stack says, "and the AMA's code of ethics is the most widely accepted guidance for physicians' professional, ethical practices." In fact, he adds, courts and governments often use the AMA's ethics codes as guidelines. 

Central to the AMA's recommendations is that RFID implantable devices still need to be researched. The report indicates such implants may present physical risks to patients, because the devices can migrate under the skin and become difficult to extract. It goes on to say the risks may be minimized "by constructing RFID tags from materials that permit surrounding tissue to encase the device." Furthermore, the document cautions that RFIDtags may electromagnetically interfere with electrosurgical devices (medical tools that use electrical currents for cauterization during surgery) and defibrillators, and that more research needs to be done regarding whether RFID tags might also affect the efficacy of pharmaceuticals.

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