I like my title a lot better than the story:
- Security has reached the subcutaneous level for Mexico’s attorney general and at least 160 people in his office — they have been implanted with microchips that get them access to secure areas of their headquarters.
It’s a pioneering application of a technology that is widely used in animals but not in humans.
Mexico’s top federal prosecutors and investigators began receiving chip implants in their arms in November in order to get access to restricted areas inside the attorney general’s headquarters, said Antonio Aceves, general director of Solusat, the company that distributes the microchips in Mexico.
Attorney General Rafael Macedo de la Concha and 160 of his employees were implanted at a cost to taxpayers of $150 for each rice grain-sized chip.
More are scheduled to get ‘‘tagged” in coming months, and key members of the Mexican military, the police and the office of President Vicente Fox might follow suit, Aceves said. Fox’s office did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
….They lie dormant under the skin until read by an electromagnetic scanner, which uses a technology known as radio frequency identification, or RFID, that’s now getting hot in the inventory and supply chain businesses.
Scott Silverman, Applied Digital Solutions’ chief executive, said each of his company’s implantable chips has a special identification number that would foil an impostor.
….In addition to the chips sold to the Mexican government, more than 1,000 Mexicans have implanted them for medical reasons, Aceves said. Hospital officials can use a scanning device to download a chip’s serial number, which they then use to access a patient’s blood type, name and other information on a computer.
The Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve microchips as medical devices in the United States.
….Because the Applied Digital chips cannot be easily removed — and are housed in glass capsules designed to break and be unusable if taken out — they could be even more popular someday if they eventually can incorporate locator capabilities. Already, global positioning system chips have become common accouterments on jewelry or clothing in Mexico. [AP]
This gives new meaning to the tern “invasive.”
Regarding the security needs of the attorney general’s office, why would this be preferable to some kind of biometric security system? Maybe it’s just a lot cheaper. I don’t mind my eyeball being scanned but I don’t think I want a chip under the hood, so to speak.