Australia Becomes First Country To Begin Microchipping Its Public…(Although NBC News reported that all Americans would be microchipped by 2017)
Although NBC News reported that all Americans would be microchipped by 2017, it appears that Australia will be the first country in the world to start microchipping its citizens. According to news.com.au, “It may sound like sci-fi, but hundreds of Australians are turning themselves into super-humans who can unlock doors, turn on lights and log into computers with a wave of the hand.”
After receiving two implants under her skin, Shanti Korporaal, from Sydney, has become the focus of media interest. The implants have enabled her to get into her car and to work without carrying keys or a card. She wants to see the chips eventually substitute her wallet and cards.
In an announcement she made for news.com.au, Shanti said, “You could set up your life so you never have to worry about any password or PINs.” “It’s the same technology as Paypass, so I’m hoping you’ll be able to pay for things with it.
The microchips, which are about the size of a rice grain, have a great potential – they are similar to a business card and can transfer contact details to smartphones. Plus, they hold complex medical data. Shanti is very positive about the whole procedure. “I’ve had more opposition to my tattoos than I’ve ever had to the chip. My friends are jealous,” she says.
She has established an Australian distribution service called Chip My Life with her husband, Skeeve Stevens, as soon as she recognized the potential and popularity these microchips have. Depending on the sophistication of the technology, it costs between $80 and $140 to get a microchip implanted, and although it can be done at home, it’s recommended that the procedure is carried out by doctors who charge $150 for it.
“They do minor surgery, Botox and so on,” explains Shanti. “They give you a local, an injection and a quick ultrasound to make sure it’s in place.” Both Shanti and her husband have RFID (radio-frequency identification) chips in their left hands and NFC (near-field communication) chips in the right. The microchips are barely visible, with the entire procedure leaving a mark as tiny as a freckle.
Along with Shanti, Amal Graafstra is the American implantable technology pioneer. Amal is the pioneer of the world’s first implant-activated smart gun. Plus, in 2005, he became one of the world’s first RFID implantees, and has even set up an online store which sells “at home” kits to people who want to “upgrade their body”. aside from writing a book, Amal has spoken at TEDx and appeared in documentaries.
In an interview he gave news.com.au, he said, “On a psychological level, this is completely different to a smartphone or a Fitbit, because it goes in you.” “Your kidneys are working hard but you’re not thinking about them, it’s not something you have to manage. “It’s given me the ability to communicate with machines. It’s literally integrated into who I am.” Being conscious of the ethical and security concerns, he emphasizes that the data held within the microchips is encoded. It’s just a method of “computing in the body.”
Currently he is focused on advocating for the rights of citizens who have already received microchip implants. According to him, the destruction of the chip could be equivalent to an assault, just like with a pacemaker. Another possible danger is that governments could forcefully take out data from the microchips.
“I want to make sure it’s treated as part of the body, like an organ,” says Amal.
So far, microchips have been offered as an alternative to a work pass to employees in a company in Sweden. However, Amal claims that microchips are actually rising in popularity.
“At the moment, it’s mainly access — house, computer motorcycle. But in the future, there’s the potential to use it for transit, payment. You could get rid of your keys and maybe your wallet.”
One thing is for sure – microchips provide a range of uses. For instance, microchipping children can help parents know of their location at any time. It also alleviates refugees checking in at camps or shelters.
In addition, it can deliver significant medical data including diet, exercise and sleep data with you and your doctor.
To conclude in Shanti’s words, “Ever since watching movies like the Terminator, Matrix and Minority Report I wondered if we could actually live like that. I always wondered why we all weren’t living as ‘super-humans’.”