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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
5:10 PM Tue, Nov. 13th

Around the Bluhmin' Town: Why are folks getting microchips placed inside them?

Would you like a chip? Hmm ... perhaps a nice salty potato chip, or a tortilla chip with salsa? Or a chocolate chip sounds pretty good to me. But no wait, I am talking about a computer chip that could be imbedded into your hand, in the soft area between your thumb and index finger. Doesn’t that sound nice? Especially if your employer is the one who is offering this “great opportunity!”

So a Wisconsin technology company is asking their employees to volunteer to have a microchip the size of a grain of rice, implanted under the skin (ouch). And employees (fools) are lining up for it! The reason so many employees are “volunteering” to become cyborgs, is because it will make work-life “simpler.” No more time wasted swiping badges on doors in secure areas, or having to input codes to use copy machines, or bothering with logging in with passwords to computers. Even at the cafeteria you can just have your hand “swiped” and you will be billed for your lunch.

The future is here, Dear Readers. We can now be “chipped” and eat our chips at the same time. Oh, and this tiny radio-frequency identification chip has more than 50 employees ready and willing to “embrace the latest technology.” And imagine the convenience? Never having to reach into your wallet again for an ancient thing called “money” or a piece of plastic. You become the robotic credit card! Wait, is this a nightmare, a conspiracy theory, or the “way of the future?”

I hate having to recall all of my passwords for various computer programs. And I don’t like digging into my purse for money. I forget phone numbers and have most stored in my cell phone. So maybe this is the answer — a microchip to “save us” from thinking, remembering or going through the “time-waster” of having to carry a wallet. How wonderful (frightening) to know that this newfound freedom (privacy invasion) will save us time!

Why are so many employees in Wisconsin merrily having microchips implanted? Some say they are already “tech heads” and this is just the “next step” in technology. When the employer was asked if there is a plan to add a GPS tracking device to this little chip, it was answered with a robust “no.” Of course, there is a “slight possibility” of hacking that is a “low level concern.” Yikes, one swipe of the hand can cause a whole lot of mischief if the “innocent” little microchip runs amok.

I can see a few helpful applications for this technology. Like if you are on a diet, you could have the chip programmed so you can only purchase healthy food items. If you have teenagers you are worried about, a chip may come in handy to track their whereabouts. We chip our dogs to find them if they get lost ... so why not people? Oh, and if you plan on spending more money than is in your budget, the chip could “shut down.”

Until the future finds me, I will enjoy chips the old fashioned way ... with salsa or guacamole.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a comment or a story? Email Judy at judy@judybluhm.com.