The 1st of August, 2017 was a historic day for 50 employees of the US tech company Three Square Market. On this day, they had a rice grain-sized RFID chip implanted under the skin. Surveillance is allegedly precluded.
The tech company Three Square Market is based in the tranquil state of Wisconsin. The company headquarters is located in River Falls, a small town about 50 kilometers from Minneapolis.
President and Chief Operating Officer Patrick McMullan currently employs around 80 people at Three Sqaure Market. August 1, 2017 was a special day at work.
Microchip implants for employees
Employees had the option to have a Microchip implanted. The small technology is no bigger than a rice grain and is injected under the skin between thumb and index finger.
Although participation in the program is voluntary for every employee, more than half (50 out of 80 employees) have already opted for the implant on the first day. In the New York Times, software engineer Sam Bengtson said that this step would be 100 percent acceptable for him. “In the next five to ten years, [implanting chips] will be nothing mocked, but normal.”
Other employees are more critical of the intervention. For those who do not want to have anything implanted, there is also the possibility to integrate the chip into a ring or a bracelet.
Is Three Square Market endangering its employees?
With the help of the RFID chip (Radio-Frequency Identification), employees are to pay for their lunch, open doors, and access computers and printers.
If you believe CEO Todd Westby’s statements, the company can’t collect personal information through the implanted microchips. “It is not a GPS tracking device. It is a passive technology that can only forward data when it is requested,” explains Westby in an interview with Maggie Astor.
The technology professor Alessandro Acquisti is not completely convinced by the new technology. In conversation with the New York Times, the expert expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the security encryption of the chips.
He also added that “Once they are implanted, it’s very hard to predict or stop a future widening of their usage.”
Nobody wants to know about such scenarios at Three Square Markets.