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Alarm over talks to implant UK employees with microchips

Started by EvadingGrid, Nov 12, 2018, 06:53:16 AM

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Alarm over talks to implant UK employees with microchips

'Britain's biggest employer organisation and main trade union body have sounded the alarm over the prospect of British companies implanting staff with microchips to improve security.

UK firm BioTeq, which offers the implants to businesses and individuals, has already fitted 150 implants in the UK.

The tiny chips, implanted in the flesh between the thumb and forefinger, are similar to those for pets. They enable people to open their front door, access their office or start their car with a wave of their hand, and can also store medical data. Spam_A Spam_B Another company, Biohax of Sweden, also provides human chip implants the size of a grain of rice. It told the Sunday Telegraph that it is in discussions with several British legal and financial firms about fitting their employees with microchips, including one major company with hundreds of thousands of employees.

The CBI, which represents 190,000 UK businesses, voiced concerns about the prospect.

A CBI spokesperson said: "While technology is changing the way we work, this makes for distinctly uncomfortable reading. Firms should be concentrating on rather more immediate priorities and focusing on engaging their employees."

The TUC is worried that staff could be coerced into being microchipped. Its general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "We know workers are already concerned that some employers are using tech to control and micromanage, whittling away their staff's right to privacy.

"Microchipping would give bosses even more power and control over their workers. There are obvious risks involved, and employers must not brush them aside, or pressure staff into being chipped."

Steven Northam, the founder and owner of Hampshire-based BioTeq, told the Guardian that most of its 150 implants have been for individuals, while some financial and engineering firms have also had the chips implanted in their staff.'

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Last Edit by Humphrey

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Mandatory Implantation of Microchips in Employees? UK Government Says it Would Likely be Illegal

'It sounds like the stuff of eschatological literature, but the idea of companies forcibly implanting their employees with microchips is making waves in Britain – although the government says it doubts the practice would be legal.

In recent years, companies marketing microchip implants have touted them as a convenient shortcut to many routine tasks. Employing the same technology used in contactless credit cards, the tiny device is generally implanted in a worker's hand and can be used for such things as opening doors or turning on devices.

But groups in Britain ranging from the Confederation of Business Industry to the Trades Union Congress (TUC) have spoken out against the prospect of companies forcing implants on employees, a step that could facilitate constant monitoring. Spam_A Spam_B TUC secretary-general Francis O'Grady said in a statement this week new technologies should not be allowed to compromise a worker's right to privacy. Employers should negotiate with their workforce about monitoring policies, he said.

"Unions can negotiate agreements that safeguard workers' privacy while still making sure the job gets done," O'Grady said. "But the law needs to be strengthened too, so that workers are better protected against excessive and intrusive surveillance."

In recent years, Sweden has reportedly become the center of micro-chip use. Although numbers are hard to come by, "implant parties" – where friends group up to have microchips implanted – are reportedly taking place, and the national rail service now offers a microchip reservation service.

Biohax, a Swedish company that specializes in inserting a microchip – about the size of a grain of rice – under the skin, said recently it was business talks with several large British firms.

Last month a Scottish National Party lawmaker asked the government in an written parliamentary question whether it would take steps to ban the microchipping of employees by their employers.'

Read More : Mandatory Implantation of Microchips in Employees? UK Government Says it Would Likely be Illegal


Last Edit by Gladstone