Your boss is watching! The chip-in-hand trend

If your boss offered to implant a chip in your hand to replace that clumsy ID badge dangling around your neck on a cord, would you do it?

Employees of the Swedish company Epicenter are offered the option of the implant to replace key fobs and other security devices. The implant, the size of a grain of rice, is slipped into the web of skin between the thumb and index finger.

No more flashing your ID badge or forgetting it back in your desk. Just wave your hand at a locked door and the latch opens. Access to a secure computer? Just start typing – no problem.

At least not with that.

Accepting the offer is voluntary. But privacy watchdogs fret that there could be pressure, both from the employer and colleagues, to accept the chip. One participant in the Epicenter experiment says that “people bond, stay in touch, and share ideas and uses for the implants.” Perhaps not accepting the chip will come to mean that you’re not committed or a team player, and you won’t get that promotion or raise.

Employers already can use chips in smartphones and ID badges to see if a worker is in the building and identify his/her specific location. Implanting a chip that can’t be turned off or left behind could give employers 24/7 tracking power to see if an employee goes to strip clubs, or calls in sick and then heads to the ballpark. The employer also could collect health data. 

TRENDPOST: Implantable chips will be more readily accepted by younger workers growing up in a wired world where everyone is constantly connected to each other and to data-gathering software. 

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