NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 2, 2006

Scott Silverman, Chairman of the Board of VeriChip Corporation, has proposed implanting the company's RFID tracking tags in immigrant and guest workers at the border, and then verifying their identities in the workplace.

The VeriChip is a very small Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag about the size of a large grain of rice:

  • It can be injected directly into the body; a special coating on the casing helps the VeriChip bond with living tissue and stay in place.
  • A special RFID reader broadcasts a signal, and the antenna in the VeriChip draws power from the signal and sends its data.
  • The VeriChip is a passive RFID tag; since it does not require a battery, it has a virtually unlimited life span.

RFID tags have long been used to identify animals in a variety of settings; livestock, laboratory animals and pets have been "chipped" for decades. Privacy advocates have long expressed concerns about this technology being used in human beings.

Source: Bill Christensen, "Proposal to Implant Tracking Chips in Immigrants," Live Science, May 31, 2006


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