Op-Ed: Would you barcode your baby?
Another topic has arisen which has become the object of serious debate: microchip implants for human beings or ‘human barcoding’ as some would call it.
This idea of micro identification chips implanted into human beings is not a new one, it has actually been around for decades, but just recently the debate has been brought up again after science fiction author Elizabeth Moon insisted on every human being chipped.
She was just recently a guest on The Forum, a weekly BBC radio program which discusses “radical, inspiring or controversial ideas” for 60 seconds. On the show she stated “I would insist on every individual having a unique ID permanently attached — a barcode if you will — an implanted chip to provide an easy, fast inexpensive way to identify individuals.”
In her dream world, babies would be microchipped at birth, in her opinion this would save a lot of time and money on DNA testing and video cameras.
This proposal is technically possible. We already have the capabilities to barcode our pets and there are several technology companies currently working on microchips with special abilities beyond identification. Supporters of this idea believe the benefits of this technology could help society. There is a company called Biotech
which is currently working on a microchip with the ability to deliver medicine to people on schedule. Benefits also include microchips which could monitor your health and detect anomalies in your system before they become potential problems. A technology like this could save millions of lives.
Opponents of this argue this goes against civil liberties. This would give people and government organizations the ability to monitor everywhere you go and everything you do. Do we really want to live in a society where our every move is monitored?
I personally believe the idea of this is absolutely frightening. Something like this could quickly spell the end for all our privacy. In a world which is becoming drastically smaller do we really want to add more measures to identify ourselves? If it’s one thing I noticed some people have no problem giving up control and privacy for a little convenience. This technology is never going away, it's going to continue to develop and grow. Eventually it will become your choice whether you wish to chip or not, but maybe one day that choice will be taken away.