If the legend weren't so laughable, the idea of implanting a chip to replace carrying around money or credit cards might actually be intriguing. But of course, it is not true.
Snopes.com is a site that exposes and debunks "urban legends."
So what's all the fuss about? According to Snopes.com:
- "March 2004 saw the latest iteration of a form of conspiracy theory that attempts to tie automated systems related to financial transactions to the "mark of the beast" prophesied in Chapter 13 of the New Testament's book of Revelation...."
The perpetrators of this urban legend claim that two companies — Mondex, which is a subsidiary of MasterCard, and Motorola — are supposedly planning to implant RFID biochips in people's heads and right hands.
They further claim that by choosing the head and the right hand, areas of unique significance according to the Bible's Revelation 13, the companies will be marking people with the mark of the devil ("mark of the beast").
As the legend goes, "real money will be insecure in the general market. There is only one solution to this problem embraced by MOTOROLA... implanting the biochip in the right hand or the head, where it cannot be removed. If it is removed by surgery, the small capsule will burst and the individual will be contaminated with Lithium and the chemical in the microbacteria, and the Global Positioning System (GPS) will detect if it was removed, and will alert the authorities."
Double hmmm. (And if YOU can follow the garbled science in this last quote, let me know.)
Well, as you might imagine, none of this is accurate.
The Snopes.com report lays out a clear case that debunks this urban legend. It turns out that the perpetrators of this myth have confused a number of unrelated issues, and twisted them to foster a religious fundamentalist point of view.
This post originally appeared at The RFID Weblog.