Monday, February 13, 2006

"We thought a brand on their forehead was less secure"

Another day, another threshold crossed., a video surveillance company in Cincinnati, Ohio, has embedded radio chips in two of its employees.

Privacy watchdog CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering) had the scoop, with a press release last Thursday, February 9th. The radio chips, originally made for medical purposes by VeriChip of Delray Beach, Florida, give access to CityWatcher's secure data centre. The rice grain-sized glass encapsulated chips are injected into the upper arm.

Ironically, only two weeks ago security researcher Jonathan Westhues showed how easy it is to clone this particular type of radio chip. So much for the extra security, then.

Although CityWatcher told the Financial Times (free registration required) this is only a test, the implication is that in future employees won't be able to access the data centre without such an implant, which means they won't be able to do their jobs. In effect this makes the injection compulsory.

Why does this remind me of branding slaves in medieval times?

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