Kristina FinsethJuly 27, 2017
Topics: Employee Experience

"My Employer Asked Me to Get Microchipped"

Those words seem completely unbelievable. Maybe even unreasonable for many, right? That’s exactly what a Wisconsin-based technology company, Three Square Market, has asked of its fifty plus employees.

Although the option to be microchipped is completely voluntary, it would give employees the ability to enter the building, use office equipment, log into their computer, exchange business cards, and even store medical information.

Seems like a far-fetched idea, but is it? Our grandparents probably said the same thing about cell phones with built-in GPS, and the ability to take photos. I’m sure many of us have felt like some of the technological developments that have occurred over the past decade were never possible or reachable.

Knowing that microchips are going to become a “thing” eventually, here’s a look at some of the pros and cons.

It’s FDA Approved for Humans Even though Three Square Market will be the first U.S.-based firm to use a microchip for employees, it was actually approved for use in humans by the FDA back in 2004. If it’s approved by the FDA, it must be safe and secure, right?

Sort of, if it’s used for its intended purpose. The VeriChip was the implantable computer microchip approved by the FDA, and it’s specifically for patients to store pertinent medical information that health providers can easily access. This is the same type of microchip many of us have installed in our pets in case they go missing.

The Installation is Non-Invasive With the size and shape of a grain of rice, installing the microchip in a human is generally non-invasive (and I’m not talking privacy). For Three Square Market, it’s inserted between the thumb and forefinger of an individual and doesn’t really hurt that much.

Inserted in less than twenty minutes, individuals are left with zero stitches and a nicely invisible microchip.

There is a Convenience Factor Left your key fob or your wallet at home? No problem if you have a microchip. Imagine being able to conveniently make purchases, access equipment, and open doors without having to worry about losing a key or card.

In talking with Phenom People’s CEO, Mahe Bayireddi, he envisions a future of entering another country quickly because a person has a microchip that is safe, secure, and provides the right people with the information they need to make decisions.

As with anything, there are cons.

Your Privacy Could Be in Question Of course, Three Square Market says they do not use a GPS tracking application in their microchip, so the concern of privacy and security should be non-existent for employees. But, who’s to say that information you don’t want gathered is being gathered about your every move, every word, your everything?

I don’t know about you, but I like my privacy, and I definitely don’t want to share everything I say and do with just anyone out there.

There’s a Risk of Infection Depending on who conducts the installation of the microchip, there’s definitely a risk of infection. Plus, with companies like Dangerous Things selling a microchip device and an injection kit to anyone who wants to purchase one, there’s a risk of infection from do-it-yourself people around the world.

And, what if you decide to leave the company one day? You’re either left with a microchip that doesn’t work anymore, or you have a choice to have it removed. Either way, it’s risky.

Forget Infection – What About Cancer? Infection could be the least of your worries if you decide to get microchipped. There are many other major health concerns based on experiments with lab rodents and dogs. From a foreign-body causing cellular changes leading to cancer to a microchip sheath containing toxic properties, you need to know the potential risks of what you are inserting into your body.

Although we are a ways off from widespread adoption of microchips in employees, it’s something we need to start thinking about now.

What do you think?

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