Nevada may become the fifth state to pass a law banning the implanting of RFID microchips in humans without their consent.
Republican state Sen. Becky Harris introduced a bill in the Nevada legislature that would make it a felony to forcibly implant the tracking devices in any human being, including the mentally impaired.
Harris said she’s worried computer chips could pose serious risks to human rights and public health.
“This is a completely new issue,” Harris said in a statement. “I just want a safety measure in place until we better understand the technology and the reasoning behind people’s desire to require implanting chips.”
While some critics say there is no need for such legislation because nobody is being forced to have a chip embedded under their skin, the practice is growing in popularity.
Some parents have purchased the kits to keep track of their children, and some companies in Belgium and Sweden use RFID chips to identify and track their employees. Parents are chipping their children and pets while nursing homes are chipping Alzheimer’s patients.
Harris said she started researching the potential for microchips to be abused after the issue was brought to her by a concerned constituent.
“It’s done under the idea to unlock doors or use copy machines or maybe pay for lunch,” Harris told the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this week. “You could use your hand,” instead of a card.
“As I began to look into the issue I was surprised with the merit that I believe the issue warrants,” Harris added. “Each kit costs about $100 and includes a tag and an injection tool.”
“Imagine that,” said privacy advocate and author Patrick Wood, “a state representative actually listening to a constituent and taking them seriously.”
Wood’s book “Technocracy Rising: The Trojan Horse of Global Transformation” is about the ease with which corporate America and technocrat politicians invade Americans’ privacy by tracking them 24/7 and stealing their personal data.
At least four other states – Wisconsin, Oklahoma, California and North Dakota – have passed laws against involuntary chipping of human beings.
But the Nevada bill may be the strongest attempt yet at limiting the overreach of government and corporate America to track citizens, patients and employees, said Liz McIntyre, privacy advocate and co-author of the book “SpyChips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track your Every Purchase and Watch your Every Move.”
Not only would the bill forbid the implanting into humans of radio frequency identification chips, which fit inside a glass tube about the size of two grains of rice, but it also would ban any other forms of marking a human being.
“I think this bill should be a model for other states, I love that it’s so simply written but also that it includes not only microchips but others kinds of permanent marks,” McIntyre said. “We have seen electronic tattoos that could technically contain information. We think of a physical chip, but there are items that could simply be printed and marked into people, so I think her bill is very forward thinking and simple, anyone could understand and apply it. It covers the eventuality that there may be some kind of permanent device that uniquely identifies someone that could take another form we haven’t thought of yet.”
But there’s no guarantee the bill will pass. Besides the four states that have passed such laws, others have brought up bills that have “just died,” she said.
McIntyre said the most common reason lawmakers give for not voting for these bills is that they are “not needed” because reports of forced chipping is almost unheard of.
“There is definitely that concern out there. Legislators don’t want to pass it in some states because they don’t see the threat, but once you see the threat it’s too late,” she said.
McIntyre said there have already been incidents in Florida in which nursing home staffs have tried to forcibly chip people with Alzheimers, but relatives caught wind of it and stopped it.
There are some cases in which human chipping sounds reasonable, such as for prisoners and sex offenders who are released from prison.
“But once you start tracking them, you have others who will say, ‘See how effective this is, why not use it in other people?’
“It becomes commonplace, normal, people accept it,” she added. “Years ago if you said people would be tracking you with your phone you would say ‘no way,’ but now everyone knows it and accepts it. So there is very good reason for this legislation, and if lawmakers say, hey, there is no reason we’d never forcibly chip a human being, then why are they so worried about passing the bill?”
In the book “Spychips,” McIntyre and her co-author Katherine Albrecht included a whole chapter on use of chips in hospitals and the healthcare industry.
“We did that because the people trying to sell this technology are trying to find uses for it,” she said.
RFID chips have been used for years to track items.
“And that seems like a good use, but when items are tagged and tracked they tag and rack the people that use them,” McIntyre said. “So in hospitals you have attempts to put them on hospital personnel ID tags, and then the next step is to say well we’re already tagging and tracking the items in the hospital and the personnel. But sometimes they forget to wear their badges, so we need a more fool-proof method, so we need to chip the people themselves.”
In other words, it’s a slippery slope.
“People have been scared of RFID for some time, because it is a marker that can identify you as you move about town,” said Wood, the expert on the technocracy movement. “People who put these chips in their hands use it for things like opening a door, turning on a light, and my guess is corporate America would love to utilize this, because corporate America is scrutinizing its employees like never before, so I could see this used instead of a nametag.
“Your electronic name badge already likely has a chip and it tracks you within the building, so the next step is to move the chip to your hand.”
But Wood cautions against worrying too much about RFID and ignoring all the other ways a person can be identified and tracked.
“How many ways can you already be identified on the street? You have facial recognition which can be done at a distance so it’s not known that it was done, you have iris scans, license plate readers, fingerprint readers, cell phone data. And there are some other ones that are maybe a little bit more subtle like artificial intelligence sensors now that can recognize people by their gate, by the way they walk.”
Passive chips are being used virtually everywhere in retail.
“Target, Walmart and all the big box stores, the manufacturers are embedding the chips in the products, and they’re doing that for inventory control; that’s what they say,” Wood said.
“Here’s the problem. When you walk out of a store let’s say with a pair of shoes that have the chip in them, the odds are that the chip was not disabled. It wasn’t killed,” he said.
“So let’s say we’re living in a not too distant future dystopian world, and there are chip readers all over the streets. Well, if you walk within say 70 feet of a card reader that’s transmitting energy and your little chip in your shoes wakes up and the card reader says give me your data, and your data is passed and you have been identified as being in a particular place at a particular time without you even knowing it.
“If they’ve found your shoes they’ve found you. You were already positively identified when you paid for them with your credit or debit card.”
This is why the cashless society also plays a role in the removal of individual freedom. Less cash means more data collection on purchasers, he said.
McIntyre said many states took up bills to ban involuntary chipping after her book came out in 2005. Some, like Wisconsin, passed the bills into law while others let the bills languish and die.
“We mentioned in our book the next step would be human chipping, and Wisconsin picked it up,” she said.
But the momentum has died down now. That’s why she is excited to see Nevada picking up the ball and running with it.
“Now I am very pleased to see Nevada is picking this up, and hopefully it will be a model for other states, because we’ve seen with other technology they get out of hand before appropriate controls are in place,” McIntyre told WND.
“The chipping of humans is something we can’t put on the back burner, and if we don’t pass these laws the most vulnerable people in society will be the first ones targeted, people limited mental capacity, people who are watched anyway and people we need to watch, like sex offenders. But it’s human nature to see how something works in one segment of society and want to extend it to others, such as the work place.
“There’s a temptation to say after a while, this person keeps losing their ankle monitor and we need to put these chips in the people.”