It is the future that many concerned citizens have warned about for decades: A world where technological research would evolve to include the fundamentals of human biology and usher in an era of microchips and biometric tyranny.
This week, in an article published by The Australian, it has been revealed that Visa and the University of Technology in Sydney have announced a partnership to explore the future of ‘wearable technology’, including the development of a new implanted device to make everyday transactions easier for the public.
The piece reports on a survey conducted by Visa that suggests a fair proportion of Australians are receptive to technology mixing with human organic flesh if it means making payments easier, and that 25% of those surveyed are ‘slightly interested’ in the notion of having a chip implanted in their skin.
The approach would be achieved by implanting a subcutaneous chip that would let consumers pay at a retail terminal without a wallet, credit card or smart device, and would allow consumers to simply wave their bare hand over an outlet, similar to chip responsive technology already introduced in recent years.
The survey was conducted by global payments firm by UMR – ran by Campbell White, who holds a PhD in Social and Media Psychology – and they provide full-service opinion research based in Australia, New Zealand and work across the Asia Pacific region.
John Utting, the Company Director, has served as a pollster for two Australia Prime Ministers, three New Zealand Prime Ministers and numerous Australian State Premiers.
Some food for thought.
THE PATH TO DYSTOPIA:
Despite still being considered a tale of science fiction by many, the US firm VeriChip obtained approval to do this type of procedure more than a decade ago.
The VeriChip human implant is a glass-encapsulated RFID microchip designed for implantation in the human body.
It is designed to remain permanently embedded under the skin and consists of a RFID integrated circuit, a capacitor, and an antenna wrapped around a ferrite core.
These components are sealed in a capsule of medical-grade glass. The glass capsule is partially coated in a porous polypropylene substance called Biobond in an effort to prevent the device from migrating within the body.
The VeriChip Corporation markets the implant as a method of accessing medical records in an emergency, for use as a payment device, and as a way to control access to secure facilities.
When a VeriChip scanner is brought within range of an implant, the scanner emits a radio signal that stimulates the implant, causing it to emit its own radio signal in response.
That signal is picked up by the scanner and converted into a unique 16-digit identification number. The number is used to identify the individual or to call up a related record.
This technology has been introduced at the welcome of many in the scientific community, and many people have already subjected themselves to this type of procedure to make life easier, such as Mark Gasson in 2009.
Mark had a had a chip injected under the skin of his hand, and then infected his own implant with a computer virus, one that he could pass on to other computer systems if the building’s networks were programmed to read his chip.
As Gasson breezed around the workplace, spreading the virus and corrupting computer systems, certain areas of the building became inaccessible to his colleagues.
TOTT News also linked to the ‘Human microchipping: I’ve got you under my skin‘ article that detailed the push to link smart technology with human movements, and these stories are only just scratching the surface.
Is the world headed for a state of biometric tyranny? Would Australians really sacrifice their own body if it meant more convenience in their day-to-day lives? Why is a firm with such influence polling users for Visa?
A few good questions to ask.
I’ll leave the readers with a quotation from the final paragraph of the original article to analyse and internalise for yourself:
Before you see the human species morphing towards a cyborg future, there is a cautious note.
Research in the past has linked subcutaneous chips to cancers in laboratory animals at the implant site.
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Aussies interested in implant to make payment with the wave of a hand: http://www.9news.com.au/technology/2015/05/26/11/36/aussies-interested-in-implant-to-make-payment-with-wave-of-the-hand
A quarter of Australians are OK having a chip implanted in them to pay for stuff: http://www.businessinsider.com.au/a-quarter-of-australians-are-ok-having-a-chip-implanted-in-them-to-pay-for-stuff-2015-5
Eugenics in Australia – Melbourne’s Hidden History: https://tottnews.com/2013/03/04/eugenics-in-australia-melbournes-hidden-history/
New Australian law allows forced vaccinations, quarantine or jail to ‘prevent the spread of disease’: https://tottnews.com/2015/05/14/new-australian-laws-allow-forced-vaccinations-quarantine-or-jail-to-prevent-the-spread-of-disease/
The Fall of Australia: An overview of ‘anti-terrorism legislation: https://tottnews.com/2014/10/06/australia-descending-into-darkness-draconian-laws-police-state-surveillance-and-more/
Erosion of Privacy in Australia: Basic facts you need to know: https://tottnews.com/2014/01/23/erosion-of-privacy-in-australia-basic-facts-you-need-to-know/
In the following audio excerpt from Episode #18 of the Australian Roundtable, Lindsay discusses Google’s vision to eventually install microphones in every household ceiling, and to have microchips implanted in every human brain to ‘read the user’s thoughts and predict search results and queries’:
The Australian Roundtable Podcast is a Brisbane-based, independent news/analysis/discussion panel podcast which broadcasts live every Sunday from 3pm AEST.
The show features an eclectic panel of presenters who come together each week to discuss recent and topical news and current affairs from Australia and around the world.
The show provides an alternative perspective to that presented by the mainstream media, and is aimed at listeners in Australia and abroad who are skeptical of the official narratives being pushed by governments and the corporate, controlled news.