Major British firms are planning to microchip their employees in a bid to increase security. A Swedish company, BioHax, that specializes in providing human chips has told UK media they are in negotiations with several firms to implant large numbers of staff.
One firm considering the program has “hundreds of thousands of employees.” Each chip costs between £70 and £260 per person and would replace a physical ID pass that is currently used. BioHax says they have plans to open to open an office in London to keep up with the reported demand.
U.S leads the ways in RFID implanting
They say they have already chipped 4,000 people, most of them in Sweden. Fifty employees at the United States based vending machine company were implanted with a tiny radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips last year that allows them to open doors and log onto computers.
The chips were implanted using BiHax. CEO of the company Todd Westby, explained the move in a statement, “We foresee the use of RFID technology to drive everything from making purchases in our office break room market, opening doors, use of copy machines, logging into our office computers, unlocking phones, sharing business cards, storing medical/health information, and used as payment at other RFID terminals. Eventually, this technology will become standardized allowing you to use this as your passport, public transit, all purchasing opportunities, etc.”
Bio-hackers enjoy the risk-free commute
The tiny, grain of rice sized microchip is inserted into the fleshy part of the hand, between index finger and thumb. Consulting firm KPMG told UK media that they would not microchip employees under any circumstances.
While a lot of fears exist around the idea of chipping and the ways it could impede on personal privacy for the hacker community RFID chips are becoming a trend in some communities. Many tech-savvy hackers are having them implanted and using them to open the doors to their cars, start motorbikes and even authenticate their phones.
Meow-Meow makes travel a breeze
An Australian biohacker implanted his travel card chip into his hand to speed up his everyday commute. The dedicated public transport user goes by his legal name Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow. Sydney, Australia uses a contactless card similar to London’s Oyster.
Meow-Meows homemade chip is simply a cut-down travel card encased in 6-by-10 mm biocompatible plastic. According to Meow Meow the chip has no disadvantages.
The Australian city of Sydney uses a contactless smart card called Opal, which works in the same way as London's Oyster card or Singapore's EZ card. Meow-Meow trimmed down his Opal card near-field communication (NFC) chip and encased it in a 6-by-10 mm biocompatible plastic.
The bio hack enthusiast then had the chip implanted just underneath the skin on the side of his left hand. According to Meow-Meow, having the chip inside his body gives him a convenient advantage over everybody. "It gives me an ability that not everyone else has, so if someone stole my wallet I could still get home," Meow-Meow said.