ARTICLE

Would You Let Your Company Chip You?

News Image By PNW Staff May 11, 2017
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Remember scenes from movies like Mission Impossible or Minority Report where people are subjected to microchip implants? 

Well, it's not just in the movies anymore--it's real. Ask the employees of the Swedish company Epicenter, based in Stockholm, where it's routine to have your hand implanted as part of your new employee on-boarding process. 

The company gives its workers the choice of an implant that will operate printers and open doors--you can even buy items from the vending machine with it.

Apparently, it is an extremely popular undertaking that so far, about 150 of the 2,000 employees have opted for. 

Epicenter CEO and co-founder Patrick Mesterton says, "The biggest benefit I think is convenience," as he waves his own hand to unlock a door. "It basically replaces a lot of things you have, other communication devices, whether it be credit cards or keys."


Mesterton was one of the first to get chipped and lead by example, but even he initially had doubts and struggled with the decision. "Of course, putting things into your body is quite a big step to do and it was even for me at first," he said.

He finally decided to offer the chip program because he said that people have had many other devices like pacemakers and artificial knees implanted, so the chips are really no different.

Jowan Osterlund is jokingly called the "body hacker" by Epicenter employees; he comes over from company Biohax Sweden every month to chip employees. 

The "chipping" day has become so popular that employees have actually turned it into a party.

These types of microchips are by no means new; they've been used for pets for years, and companies routinely use the same technology to track packages and deliveries. 

However, this tech has not been used as a human implant before. Epicenter joins a few other global companies in taking the plunge with its employees.

Here's how they work:  they use Near Field Communication (NFC) just like a mobile payment does. When the chip gets close to the reader, data interchange flows from the chip to the reader via electromagnetic wave.

The chips cause no health issues and are biologically safe, but opponents of the human use of the technology says that it causes privacy and security issues. 


The chips generate data, so it is much easier for employers to track everything about their employees--how often they come to work, what time then start and stop, how many bathroom breaks you take, and what they are buying while in the workplace. 

Opponents of the practice say that employees are blindsided about being on the cutting edge of something new, but they're not thinking through all the future implications and what those could mean for them. 

Any device can potentially be hacked, and some companies worry about hackers gaining access to their facilities and data via the chips.

Many Christians fear that such technologies are a precursor to what is often called "the Mark of the Beast" - where no man may buy or sell without an identifying mark in their right hand or forehead.

What happens when for "security purposes" such chips become mandatory to work at certain companies or government agencies.  

It is not hard to imagine what starts off as a method of convenience growing into something much more controlling.


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