Freedom is, very simply, one of the most valuable things that a person can have. Many people acknowledge this, and, yet, it continues to amaze me how few people understand that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, that freedom comes through inconvenience and responsibility for oneself. Freedom is not convenient, but, if I want to keep it, I had better make the choices that keep me free and take responsibility for my choices and actions and their consequences.
Unfortunately, though, many people seem to prefer convenience and the perceived sense of safety provided by big corporations and big government. The latest battle waged in this war to control people has to do with RFID chips. Now, these chips have been in use for years as part of anti-theft devices in retail stores and as part of shipping packages to track shipping easily. I don’t so much have a problem with that. Claire Bernish gives us details about what does concern me:
One technological wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing slipped unobtrusively into Europe as an apparent answer to accessibility in the workplace: RFID chips — grain-of-rice-sized, injectable, memory-packed, protean implants — designed to identify the bearer for use of equipment, purchases, logins, and other operations generally requiring more than the wave of one’s implant.
Once workers took the plunge, RFID (radio frequency identification) technology sprang up in a smattering of places; and, soon, Sweden accepted microchips for payment at government-run train stations — as if subcutaneous tech were well-rooted and time-tested.
Then, just this week, reports a Wisconsin business held a party for workers volunteering for a chip set social media into paroxysms over privacy worries, the role and acceptable extent of nascent technology literally in our lives, and only somewhat far-flung fears the tiny gadget will ultimately fall to malevolent, coercive control to some unknown, but obviously untenable, end.
Yes, the ability to be conveniently tracked has shown its first signs of coming to our side of the pond, at least as far as implantable tracking devices go (most adult Americans already have a cell phone, which is an easy way to track people).
Those supporting RFID chip implants will argue that it’s voluntary (which, at this point, is true) and that RFID chips aren’t active tracking devices in the same way that GPS devices, such as in cell phones, are. This is also true. A person has to walk near an RFID scanner for that chip to be picked up by tracking equipment. Of course, this RFID tracking equipment is in nearly every retail store in America, so it’s almost as effective in keeping tabs on you as an active tracking device.
Look, if someone wants to voluntarily have a chip implanted, I think it’s a terrible, foolish decision, but it’s their decision to make, not mine. But, on the other hand, if you want to minimize your chance of being tracked, as I do, then you need to fight tooth and nail to never have one of these implanted on you.