Are you ready for your "Spy-Chip" Implant?
The U.S. military wants to plant nanosensors in soldiers to monitor health on future battlefields and immediately respond to needs, but a privacy expert warns the step is just one more down the road to computer chips for all.
“It’s never going to happen that the government at gunpoint says, ‘You’re going to have a tracking chip,’” said Katherine Albrecht, who with Liz McIntyre authored “Spychips,” a book that warns of the threat to privacy posed by Radio Frequency Identification.
According to a report at Mobiledia, the U.S. military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has confirmed plans to create nanosensors to monitor the health of soldiers on battlefields.
The devices also would report data to doctors. But privacy analysts have expressed concern that the implants could be used not just to monitor health but to keep track of and possibly control people.
DARPA describes the technology on which it is working as “a truly disruptive innovation,” which would diagnose, monitor vital states and “even deliver medicine into the bloodstream.”
According to LiveScience.com, “Solving the problem of sickness could have a huge impact on the number of soldiers ready to fight, because far more have historically died due to illness rather than combat.”
The report suggested that for special forces, “the practical realization of implantable nanosensors capable of monitoring multiple indicators of physiological state could be a truly disruptive innovation.”
Already being researched is the concept of nanosensors diagnosing disease.
DARPA expects to launch a second effort focused on treatment later this year.
Albrecht said the move is another step in the trip down the road of having every person implanted with a chip that might very well monitor health but also other areas of life.
Microchipping, she said, already is “par for the course” for pets in many parts of the nation, and that acceptance will make it easier to require it for people.
She said it was expected that captive audiences, such as prisoners and troops, would be the first subjected to the requirement, which would make it easier for the general populace to accept it as well.
“It’s interesting,” she said. “I’m stunned how this younger generation is OK. They don’t see the problem. … ‘Why wouldn’t everyone want to be tracked?’”
But she said Americans will have to decide to say no to incremental advances, or by the time officials finally roll out the idea of chips for all, whether they want them or not, it will be too late to decide.
“The analogy that I draw is [that of a train], and if I’m in California and I do not want to wind up in New City, every stop brings me closer,” she said. “At some point I have to get off the train.”
Albrecht also has helped develop and launch a new project called StartPage, which now is handling some 2 million search requests per day.
The benefit of the page is its privacy. The site explains that every time a person uses a typical search program such as Google, “your search data is recorded.”
“Then they store that information in a giant database,” she explains.
As a result, corporate America and the government have access to “a shocking amount of personal information about you, such as your interests, family circumstances, political leanings, medical conditions and more
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