Microchips are being implanted into employees at a Wisconsin-based company, Three Square Market, and the news has caused waves of concern from onlookers for what this could mean for employment across the nation.
Three Square Market is the first company to adopt the voluntary policy for employees to have microchips implanted on them in place of a company ID badge.
The microchip is not required of employees, but merely optional and if an employee chooses not to be microchipped, they simply continue to use their original ID key card.
Although a lot of people have been questioning why this would be needed if employees already have ID cards to access different areas of the company, there are 50 staff members at the Wisconsin company expected to be voluntarily chipped, mostly due to convenience.
“One reason is security. Employees frequently leave ID cards lying around and obviously it’s a lot harder to leave a chip behind than a key card. Another reason is to track employees and employee behavior. With the chip, you can go in and see what’s a popular food amongst employees, when people are leaving the break room, and who’s been accessing certain data,” says Adam Boyd, an employment attorney at Radix Law.
If the trend for company microchipping does spread across the U.S., more Americans may come to understand the increase in convenience and practicality with this type of technology.
“I certainly think it will be a growing trend. If it does grow here, I think we’ll see an increase in state laws, which will restrict employers from requiring employees to be implanted with the chip as a condition of employment,” Boyd says.
The technology for microchipping company employees has already been a national trend for much longer than many people are aware of.
It began in Sweden at a company called BioHax International, and it has been spreading ever since, Boyd says.
“BioHax has been offering it to companies in Europe for at least five years. (In Europe), there is a lot less concern about invasion of privacy among corporations with European workers because there’s a lot more regulations on the companies than there are here. So, companies have a lot more leeway to invade employee privacy here in the U.S. That is why there is really no chance of requiring the chip to be implanted in any employee.” says Boyd.
However, work place rights are still involved in this newly adopted idea because all microchipping will be done at Three Square Market, only if the employee voluntarily agrees to it.
The microchip operates by RFID technology or Radio-Frequency Identification, which uses electromagnetic fields to identify electronically stored information.
It uses near field communications, which is the same technology used in contactless credit cards and mobile payments.
The RFID chip would be safely implanted into their hands by a machine similar to one used to pierce ears, between their thumb and index finger within seconds.
The chip grants access to purchases in their break room market, open doors, login to computers, use the copy machine, etc.
Invasion of privacy is certainly a concern for many U.S. citizens, especially for those with religious beliefs.
Negative online reviews of Three Square Market are already on the rise, regarding God’s law and the government attempting to take over people’s minds.
The world of pop culture is certainly more active in the U.S. than any other country, and with many films and television shows, such as the Netflix original, “Black Mirror” which involves technology taking over society, it is no wonder there are so many different opinions regarding the microchipping.
Boyd adds, “The Wisconsin Company has been voted down by people to a one star rating because people are commenting about the chips taking over people’s minds and saying it’s against God’s law. So, the push back here would be severe if a lot of companies did try and push this.”