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02/17/2006 Archived Entry: "RFID chip = love? And no more lost keys!"

Strange. I usually agree 110% with Claire Wolfe and Mary Lou Seymour but I find myself in disagreement with their shared take on the following news story. Jennifer Tomblin and Amal Graafstra have made the most modern declaration of their affection for each other, with implanted electronic chips that allow them unfettered access to each other's lives. It's called Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID. Both have had a small electronic chip embedded under their skin that grants access to each other's front doors and home computers. In essence, the couple have substituted a RFID chip for keys, access cards, etc. The chip in question doesn't monitor but merely serves as an ID. Claire states, "This is sick." Mary Lou, writing as MLS for Rational Review News, says, "Eeewwww ... oh brave new world."

It is not my cup of tea, I admit, and a RFID chip is not a way I would express love -- tho' it does express a high level trust. Nevertheless I was quite impressed by an interview the fellow in question gave on the Tucker Carlson show (MSNBC). He was cogent and convincing and tired to death of losing his keys. Moreover, since the chip could be extracted in less than a minute, it did not represent an ongoing commitment and, so, constitute a big mistake should either one of them terminate the relationship. The most interesting moment of the interview was when the fellow expressed concern about the biometric surveillance that is or may be conducted by government. Carlson snorted in derision and disbelief while the fellow explained that the implanting of the chip to replace keys, etc. was technology under his control, being used to make his life easier. Government surveillance was technology controlled by other people who wished to control him; it was technology used to impoverish his life. Bottomline: his particular private use may not appeal to me but I don't find it sick or Orwellian.

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