Microchips designed to be implanted in human beings

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I talked about this subject a year or so ago, back in Unks old forum, or maybe before that, not sure. I explained how the humane society would implant this device in any pet you adopted so they could be tracked if lost.
I said I had hoped this device would not end up being used for this purpose.

Unfortunatly, it appears my fears were well founded.
Soon it will be as much a part of the delivery room proceedure as footprinting newborns.

Welcome to 1984 ~ cubed.

Applied Digital pushes microchip to plant in foreigners for tracking

By Deborah Circelli, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 20, 2001

PALM BEACH -- Today's security measures don't work very well, says Richard Sullivan, pointing to the Sept. 11 terror attacks on New York and Washington.

He's says he's got a better idea: a microchip instead of a green card. Foreigners who pass through customs or immigration could be injected with the chip, allowing officials to monitor their activities better and keep terrorists out.

"Man today is more than ever converging with technology," said Sullivan, who is CEO of the Palm Beach-based tech company Applied Digital Solutions (Nasdaq: ADSX, 45 cents). "I think the positives overwhelmingly overcome any small negatives. The government is more prepared, for the overall benefit of our citizens, to advocate some of these changes."

Sullivan's company has high hopes for the implantable technology, which it unveiled Wednesday. Until now, the microchips -- called VeriChips -- have been used for tracking and identifying animals.

Applied Digital has had a patent for such devices since 1999. The new technology would make Applied Digital the first company in the nation to sell microchips designed to be implanted in human beings.

But privacy groups reacted with outrage Wednesday to Sullivan's idea for monitoring foreigners. America is not that desperate, one group said, citing a violation of "bodily integrity."

"That is so unconstitutional," said Randall Marshall, legal director for the Miami chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. "I can't imagine this surviving a constitutional challenge. It just simply goes way too far outside the realm of what we believe in as a society."

Sullivan said the product will be marketed in January in South America while the company seeks approval in the United States from the Food and Drug Administration. Approval is expected in 18 months.

A New Jersey surgeon who serves on the board of Owings, Md.-based Medical Advisory Systems, which is about to combine with a subsidiary of Applied Digital, injected himself with two of the VeriChips five days after the terror attacks.

Richard Seelig inserted the chips in his forearm and hip as part of the clinical process Applied Digital will have to conduct to receive FDA approval, Sullivan said. Seelig, 55, referred all questions Wednesday to Sullivan but told the Los Angeles Times he felt compelled to have a secure form of identification after Sept. 11.

"I was so compelled by what had happened," Seelig told the Times. "One of the potential applications suddenly jumped out -- the ability to have a secure form of identification -- and I felt I had to take the next step."

The chips are about the size of a grain of rice and contain an identification number or other data, such as medical information, and a person's address and phone number.

The chips have no internal power source. Their data can't be read without a scanner close at hand. The next generation of body chips -- one that transmits signals from a distance -- is several years away.

The chip is the same as the one Applied Digital's subsidiary uses in more than 1 million animals, but the VeriChip can be used in humans with a pacemaker, artificial heart valves or orthopedic knee devices. If a patient needs help, a hospital can use a scanner to obtain information.

In five years, Sullivan said he can see the chips being used in children, the elderly, prisoners, and by employers at facilities such as airports and nuclear plants. Society in general could use them instead of ATM or credit cards, he said.

But Evan Hendricks, editor and publisher of Privacy Times, a Washington, D.C.-based newsletter, said it's one thing for an individual to choose to implant the device for medical purposes, but it's crossing the line when parents start putting them in their children or employers require them for employment.

"This has been science fiction for most of our adult life, but now we see the technology allows it," Hendricks said. "The problem is that it is happening in a vacuum where there are not adequate privacy laws."

Los Angeles Times contributed to this story.

-- Cherri (jessam5@home.com), December 28, 2001

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