Biochip implantation - When humans get tagged
By Renjith VP, SiliconIndia | Thursday, 25 November 2010, 17:03 Hrs
Microchip implants and mind control related to cybernetics is an area discussed way back in 1948 in a book by Norbert Weiner. From then till now, theories have been formulated and materialized into the real tangible entity of biochip. GeneChip, one of the first commercial biochips, contained thousands of individual DNA sensors for use in sensing defects or to understand single nucleotide polymorphisms to put it technically in tumor suppressor genes and genes related to breast cancer. But it gained wide approval as a device which can be installed inside pet animals by injecting through a small hypodermic needle and make it easy for owners to track them down.
While biochips promised immense help in the field of medical diagnosis, it was tarnished with much negative publicity as it was projected as a device which is inserted inside human to track his actions and haunt him down. Now we really don't like being followed, do we? EPIC's Hoofnagle once said the technology carries the same privacy concerns as a national ID card. "Human identification systems are tools that have historically been used for social control," he said. Hoofnagle also expressed concern that the biochips might be "spoofed," allowing anyone to access data on the chip or monitor people without them knowing it. "It sounds like it's an easy technology to invade," he said. So what about bio chips is really concerning us?
When it comes to the use of biochips on humans, it works a little bit differently. The chip is implanted in a way where it is able to bind with your DNA. Many government agencies have been working with biochips which can be used for identification purposes. When we think of this as an invasion of privacy, we should also look at the positive side of the technology. This would be a great use to find missing children, if this technology goes as far as an implant at birth, those who have been kidnapped or missing, can be easily found. This type of implantable chip is being researched by defense departments in India and abroad in hopes to be used for soldiers, to monitor their location and relay health information if the soldier gets wounded in battle. This would be a great way to get medical data relayed of what the doctors may be dealing with before the patient ever gets to the hospital. Not only that, a biochip will make it easier to find that wounded soldier.
But there are certain areas which always lack definite explanations. You can't value human life and you can limit his identity. It questions our morality when it comes to cloning humans and similarly we find it weird when we get 'tagged' by some minute chip. Whatever lies in the future for biochips, its implantation in humans still pricks our conscience.
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