Monday, March 26, 2007

Get Chipped

Are you ready for your Verichip?

Approved by the FDA in 2002, the Verichip Corporation's radio frequency identification device is the first in what will probably be a long line of human implant microchips.

The device is generally implanted around the triceps area of the right arm and contains a bar code of sixteen numbers which correlates with a computer database and verifies
(hence the name) identity, citizenship, and medical records.

Predictably, mass concerns about government misuse and privacy issues have stopped the Verichip in its tracks. 68 hospitals originally signed up to adopt the tec
hnology in their emergency rooms, but most have discontinued use due to disputes with the public. It is estimated that only 2000 people nationwide have gotten the implant since its inception four years ago.

Religious groups are
(of course) up-in-arms about the nature of the chip, likening it to the "mark of the beast" mentioned in the impenetrable verses of The Book of Revelation.

He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, 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."

There is even an anti-Verichip website, "We the People Will Not Be Chipped", at

In May of 2002, the Jacob's Family of Boca Raton, Florida became the first family on earth to be implanted with microchips, in a procedure that was apparently broadcast on NBC's Today Show.
(Which we are having a hard time believing, considering all of the negative issues surrounding the device.)

They claimed their enthusiasm for the Verichip came in response to the excitement of their math/computer prodigy son Derek, after he saw a news report about the Verichip, as well as a feeling of safety for Jeffrey Jacobs (48 at the time), a severely disabled cancer survivor. Leslie Jacbos has also said the chip gave her a greater sense of security following the events of September 11th.

'I want to be the first kid to be implanted with the chip,'" Leslie Jacobs remembered her son exclaiming. "For the next few days all he did was talk about the VeriChip. I have nothing to hide, so I wouldn't mind having the chip for verification. I already have an ID card, so why not have a chip?"

Some have suggested that the Jacob's early interest and implantation were little more than a subversive corporate publicity stunt.
(And after reading some of the 2002 articles surrounding their procedure (Time's "Meet the Chipsons" and CIO's "All Inside the Family" among them) we tend to agree.)

(In a sad turn of events for the Jacobs, Derek (18) was killed in a motorcycle accident in October of last year.)

As of today, only one company in America,, a Cincinnati-based surveillance and security firm, has made a Verichip mandatory. They say that having the chip implanted directly into their employees helps safeguard the vast records of videotape and public data they have stored at their job site.

The official Verichip website is

Do you feel like you are living in a Phillip K. Dick novel yet?


At 10:42 AM, Blogger Brett said...

I would like Google access via my left temple, please.

At 2:00 PM, Blogger irving longface said...

what's the feasibility of crouching in the corner that the monitorscreen can't see and cutting it out yourself? i smuggled an antique fountain pen out of the museum of obsolete tools of expression... the nib is pretty sharp...

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