Please Don’t Let Your Employer Microchip You
There have to be limits.
Quick question: if given the option to forgo the plastic ID card some companies issue in favor of a microchip implanted in your skin, would you go for it?
Some 150 employees of Epicenter, a “Swedish startup hub” thought that this might be the way and the light and have gladly embraced this new technology.
Though it might sound kind of cool to wave your hand at a door and have it open like you're Obi Wan Kenobi, would you…consumerist.com
The implants are injected between between the thumb and index finger, and act like a company ID card might, using Near Field Communication technology that allows the bearer to operate office equipment, buy food, or open doors by waving their hand.
Then there’s the not-so-Jedi-like part: the fact that the thing is always keeping tabs on the worker — generating data about when they’re on the job, where they went and when. Run to the bathroom more often one morning? The chip knows. Buy four bags of Cheetos for lunch? The chip knows.
Here’s the one instance I can think of in which I’d welcome a microchip injected between my thumb and index finger by my employer — opening doors when I’m carrying things and can only manage to wave a hand in the general direction of said door instead of digging through my bag, then my wallet, then my pockets to find the company-issued ID card I left on the dresser at home next to my deodorant.
Here are all the other instances I’d prefer my employer not be able to rack my every move: during lunch; in the bathroom; on my way to and from work; when I’m on the phone; when I’m standing in front of the water cooler; when I’m doing anything, really, that they couldn’t see with their very own eyes.
I understand the convenience of the microchip, but I worry about its use. What are they going to do with the endless amounts of mostly-useless data that they’ve collected about my comings and goings, besides use it against me in a review or store it for…whatever? While it seems like a fun novelty to make copies by just waving my hand in the range of the Xerox machine, I would much rather do it myself.
Do you want the freedom to be able to buy a sandwich and a bag of Sunchips at the cafeteria by just gesturing rudely towards a self-checkout machine and leaving? If this becomes an option at your workplace, would you do it?