Related link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4721175.stm
There are real privacy and security considerations in the use of of RFID, but consider the following:
So to sum up Ms. Albrecht’s objections:
“It’s a very scary technology,” said Katherine Albrecht, a consumer rights analyst and founder of Caspian, a pressure group which opposes RFID.
“I would no longer be known as a living, breathing, spiritual person but become known as a single number that would be emanating from a chip in my flesh… essentially becoming a form of human inventory, rather than a human being.”
“A criminal could scan you surreptitiously, then use that information to access other information about you, and potentially do some identity theft,” she said.
“The other thing they could do is that, by scanning that number, it’s actually quite a simple matter to capture the number and create your own chip with the same number in it.
“You could simply programme a different chip, put it inside an encapsulated device, and put it in your own arm - and at that point you could pose as the individual whose identity you have chosen to steal.”
- RFID is Scary and will somehow effect her spirtually
- RFID will associate her with a number
- People can read her number
- People can use her number
I wonder if Ms. Albrecht uses a credit card? It’s much easier to do all of the things she describes with your credit card number. When was the last time she handed that credit card to a waiter who then walked off with it?
As for how the spiritual consequences of having an RFID tag differ from those of having a credit card, I can’t comment except to answer some of the charges that this form of identification somehow matches bibical prophesies. One of the actual scriptures this argument refers to reads:
so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. Rev 13:17 (NIV)
But what about the following scripture?
A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, Rev 14:9 (NIV)
This seems to describe a visible mark (otherwise why is it on the forehead or hand?) not an invisble chip inserted into the back of the arm or shoulder.
With that said, I should probably point out that I’m not exactly running out to have an RFID tag implanted in my arm. I do think there is merit in the argument that I should be able to turn the tag on and off or shield it in some way to disable it for privacy. Also, with such a fast changing technology I would be worried that any tag in the near future might become obsolete and need to be replaced. Also, Ms. Albrecht failed to mention the most obvious way of stealing the tag, either removing it (which might be thwarted by some sort of heat sensor in the tag itself), or kidnapping me and standing me close to the reader. In much the same way that more advanced alarm systems may have led to carjacking, an implanted ID could lead to “bodyjacking.” The application described in the article, identifying victims of catastrophes, does seem like a suitable application for an embedded chip, but statistically only a tiny percentage of us are likely to die in that manner, and by definition we can’t know which of us will be effected ahead of time. For now, I’ll stick with an tag on a keychain.
What about you? Would you get “chipped?”