Microchipping Employees: A New Frontier or a Thing to Fear?
By Steven McConnell, Director Of Marketing and Head Of Digital Products, Arielle Careers
Steven McConnell, Director Of Marketing and Head Of Digital Products, Arielle Careers
Implants have been part of the medical industry for decades. For the right person, a pacemaker could mean the difference between life and death. People putting chips on their pets to ensure a safe arrival home if they’re ever lost or stolen is commonplace.
Hospitals around the world already use microchips to ensure that a newborn doesn’t accidentally go home with the wrong mum.
At a recent Microsoft conference held there, a company called Biohax inserted their own chips into a handful of Microsoft executives.
IS THEIR CEO THINKING ABSURD?
Well, I’ll let you be the judge.
He is a self-proclaimed biohacker—Jowan Osterlund.
Osterlund shows up monthly at Epicenter — a digital hub in Stockholm comprised of 300+ startups and innovation labs for larger companies — to offer celebratory cyborg parties where employees can impant chips on themselves for free.
So far, 150 of their 2000 employees have chosen to put microchips on.
Since it recently infiltrated the high ranks at Microsoft, it’s a safe bet that it won’t be long until they show up at a workplace near you.
While this is the stuff of great science fiction, it’s swiftly becoming reality.
Born colour blind, he and a computer scientist friend invented the “eyeborg”—which has enhanced Harbisson’s senses of sight and hearing well beyond what most humans perceive.
So what if he sports a permanent antenna that extends from the back of his head, over the top, only to dangle in front of his forehead?
For him, it’s a small price to pay for the benefits. When questioned about his life as a cyborg, he told CNN that: "People are afraid of the unknown. They tend to exaggerate or be very negative about the possible consequences of what is new to them."
THE CYBORG HAS A POINT.
Think back to the early days of Google, its then new with shocking privacy implications. Years into it, though, many of us are immune to being tracked.
We’ve all searched for something on Google and have then gone to Amazon to buy something entirely different. Yet lo and behold, Amazon is offering up that very first product under “Recommended for You.”
But, this isn’t a far-fetched fantasy that is reserved to only the biggest organizations but it is a thing that is coming to the masses in near future.
BUT IT’S AN EDGE THAT FIRST APPEARED OVER 50 YEARS AGO.
Philip K. Dicks’ short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale was first published in 1966.
It’s a story that inspired the 1990 film Total Recall.
It starts with Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) having nightmares about a strange life on Mars and ends with him realising that a chip his employer implanted in his brain is controlling his memory, his identity and his sense of self.
His whole life on earth is just a dream.
So before you dismiss the subject of this article as a far-out fantasy versus a trend whose time has come, remember: