Immediately, one wonders if such a device could be used to alter the behavior of employees?” asks a Capitol Hill spokesperson, who wished to remain anonymous.
Radio frequency devices (RFID) continue to delve deeper into every aspect of human life, from automatic car starters to sub-dermal chip implants. Miniature computer chips attached with tiny antennae, called RFIDs and smart or radio tags, are capable of broadcasting their data wirelessly to anyone with a RFID reader (diagram). These types of devices have been around since the World War II era, when the government placed transponders on planes. Planes that were friendly gave off a signal, whereas an enemy plane did not. This became known as the Friend or Foe identifier. This program is still employed today. During the 1970’s the federal government used this technology to track livestock and nuclear materials.
In February 2006, two employees of CityWatcher.com in Cincinnati, Ohio were implanted with such a device. However, according to Sean Darks, company CEO, the chip was not intended for tracking, rather to control restricted area access. In such a scenario, the imbedded body part is held under a scanner (reader) and data for entry is communicated, similar to a coded entry card.
Another related usage occurred after Hurricane Katrina struck Mississippi, where numerous unidentified body parts were tagged, allowing for enhanced tracking.