As The Millennium dome re-opens to the public this weekend, renamed the O2, over £350m has been spent on updating and adding new technology, including privacy invading RFID security passes for all 2,500 staff.
In recent years the use of RFID has increased from the tracking of:
· good being hidden inside clothing labels
· the implanting in our pets
· used in experiments on the mentality ill
There is growing pressure in the UK for parents to microchip their children as a safety measure and some fear this will eventually lead to the mass micro chipping of the population as chips become ever smaller and can be read from greater distances.
NEC’s Richard Farnworth at the O2 venue said “It’s not Big Brother at all, what we’re trying to do here is make ease of access for the 2,500 employees that are going to be in the venue everyday”.
However Mr. Farnworth also states the use of the RFID chips can monitor where employees are in the venue.
As highlighted by editor of Vanity Fair magazine and writer for the Observer newspaper, Henry Porter in his Channel 4 documentary, Suspect Nation, these chips can be easily implanted under the skin through a seemingly normal injection and act as a ‘human barcode’.
Besides the obvious privacy concerns of RFID chips, if implanted in humans the risks are enormous. If the chips malfunction it could lead to major surgery and open the floodgates for identity thieves.
Some religious groups fear RFID as ‘the mark of the beast’ although the way RFID chips are currently being used does not justify that concern. They do however create the possibility that one day all humans will be chipped at birth and will become mandatory as we move towards a cashless society.