Implantable Chip, On Sale Now
By Julia Scheeres
Oct. 25, 2002

more on this chip and how small they can make it

Many people think the implantable chip may be the mark of the beast. I'm not sure I agree with that at this point in time, but it IS interesting to note that it is available here and now. Plus now it is really really small:
Engineers have crossed a symbolic barrier with a new way to make microchips with transistors that are a thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair or as small as a flu virus.

The maker of an implantable human ID chip has launched a national campaign to promote the device, offering $50 discounts to the first 100,000 people who register to get embedded with the microchip.

Applied Digital Solutions has coined the tagline "Get Chipped" to market its product, VeriChip.
The rice-size device costs $200. Those implanted must also pay for the doctor's injection fee and a monthly $10 database maintenance charge, said ADS spokesman Matthew Cossolotto.
The VeriChip emits a 125-kilohertz radio frequency signal that transmits its unique ID number to a scanner; the number is used to access a computer database containing the client's file. Customers fill out a form detailing the information they want linked to their chip when they undergo the procedure, Cossolotto said.
Earlier this week, ADS announced that the FDA had ruled that the VeriChip was not a regulated device when used for "security, financial and personal identification/safety applications."
The agency's sudden approval of the microchip came despite an FDA investigator's concern about the potential health effects of the device in humans. (Microchips have been used to track animals for years.)
The company is marketing the device for a variety of security applications, including:
* Controlling access to physical structures, such as government or private sector offices or nuclear power plants. Instead of swiping a smart card, employees could swipe the arm containing the chip.
* Reducing financial fraud. In this scenario, people could use their chip to withdraw money from ATMs; their accounts could not be accessed unless they were physically present.
* Decreasing identity theft. People could use the chip as a password to access their computer at home, for example.
Cossolotto said ADS has gotten "hundreds" of inquiries from people interested in being implanted.
Meanwhile, privacy advocates are wondering about the specter of forced chippings.
"(ID chips) are a form of electronic leashes, a form of digital control," said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. "What happens if an employer makes it a condition of employment for a person to be implanted with the chip? It could easily become a condition of release for parolees or a requirement for welfare."
Rotenberg said EPIC has filed a Freedom of Information Request to learn more details about the FDA's sudden approval of VeriChip.
The chip has also alarmed some Christians, who fear it is the biblical "Mark of the Beast"; dozens of websites allude to the Satanic implications of the technology.
The company has consistently tried to allay such fears since the chip debuted in December 2001.
"It's a voluntary device that we think has enormous utility," Cossolotto said. "This is intended for good purposes."
The company hasn't decided yet if it will sell or freely distribute the scanner needed to read the chip, which costs about $1,500.
ADS said seven health-care facilities, located in Arizona, Texas, Florida and Virginia, have signed up to distribute the chip, in addition to mobilizing a large bus the company has outfitted as a mobile "chipping station." Would-be customers can also register online.
The company plans to release an implantable GPS ID chip by the end of the year.,1848,55999,00.html

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