Radio Frequency Identifying RFID

Chip Implants for ID

More and more companies are investing into RFID technology to provide everything from inventory control systems to tracking cars and people.

WalMart told their suppliers that an RFID system needed to be incorporated for supply chain tracking, into cases and pallets for tracking of products into and out of warehouses, and from the suppliers.

There are basically two types of systems in use today. One is a passive RFID system in which a micro chip is implanted in an object and when that object is passed over or near a transmitter/receiver a signal is reflected back from the RFID to the receiver. By assigning identifiable numbers and other data to each chip, tracking can be accomplished in real-time via the Internet or internal servers. The other system is an active system where the chip transmits and some can even store information changes. Ranges with passive can be several feet vs. active RFID can be hundreds of feet or more by incorporating cellular and satellite technology and the world wide web.

This technology can be used in a diverse number of ways and it certainly brings into issue the legal and ethical implications from privacy and controlling aspects of Big Brother getting involved in the mix. People tracking is already going on at the criminal level but what about when they implant a chip in your car. As you drive from point A to point B there could be sensors implanted in the roadways and if you got there too fast, the system would automatically know you were speeding and cite you a ticket. Not to mention that a history could be built to let someone spy on you and know where you have been anytime that vehicle is used. This type of system might sound good for tracking your teenager and making sure they are not using the vehicle for inappropriate activities but what about your sales activities?

When a person really understands how small some of these devices are it gives a whole different perspective to the meaning of the word implants. Some of these devices are the size of a grain of rice or smaller. There is even a company that makes a medical RFID chip that is implanted under the skin of an individual which can keep track of the medical history for that patent. This technology is a take-off of searching for and tracking pets when they might get lost.

Yes, it really is amazing what RFID technology can do for us today. But in the whole mix of things it can also be used both for good and bad. So consider carefully what we ask for, because we just might get it. Imagine the possibilities.

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