Big Brother is watching you with RFID microchips

Imagine you’re at the grocery store and you take some tortellini from the cooler. Embedded in the packaging is a microchip that emits radio waves. The next thing you know, an ad for a high-end pasta sauce is flashing on a screen mounted on your shopping cart.

Then imagine that by scanning your house for the tiny chips implanted in every manufactured item you own, a thief generates an inventory of your clothing, DVDs, and pricey electronics, and decides to rob your house.

Finally, imagine you walk into an airport and a security officer is immediately able to find out your identity, banking information, and travel history by reading data stored in a chip in your passport—or even implanted under your skin.

Although these scenarios may sound like science fiction, the technology—known as radio-frequency identification, or RFID—is already being used to track goods such as Gillette razor blades and Gap clothing in stores. The patent for a chip that could be used in passports to monitor people in airports belongs to IBM, and a company called VeriChip is marketing a chip that is implanted under the skin in order for people to keep tabs on children, the elderly, and prisoners.

Consumer-privacy advocate Katherine Albrecht, who has briefed Canada’s federal privacy commissioner on the technology, advises Canadians to resist RFID.

“There are certainly things you can do with RFID that might be cool, but the costs of introducing this technology into our society so vastly outweigh the benefits, the technology shouldn’t be deployed at all,” Albrecht told the Georgia Straight.

Since May, enhanced driver’s licences containing RFID chips have been available to British Columbians for an extra fee of $35. The licences broadcast data that can be read by U.S. border officials up to 50 metres away, and allow the cardholder to enter the U.S. without a passport.

In the 2005 book Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move, Albrecht and coauthor Liz McIntyre argue that the use of RFID in identification cards sets up governments to misuse private information.

“If you went to a political event, such as a peace march, political rally, or gun show,” Albrecht explained from her New York office, “with RFID, all the law-enforcement agents would have to do is mill around the crowd with an RFID reader in their backpack and they would be able to pick up all of the ID cards of everybody within a 30-foot radius of where they stood.”

While RFID chips aren’t new—the technology has been in development for some 50 years—companies have only recently embraced their consumer applications. The chips are so small—smaller than a grain of rice—that they are virtually invisible when contained in a product, and are superior to bar codes because they contain data specific to each individual item and can be read through packaging up to 10 metres away. At a cost of about five cents each, RFID chips are an inexpensive way to track inventory as it’s shipped, distributed, and sold.

Having researched hundreds of RFID patents for her book, Albrecht said that companies also plan to track products after they are sold to learn about “how consumers interact with products” for marketing purposes.

“The end point is that every physical object manufactured on planet Earth would have an RFID tag instead of a bar code,” she said. “There would be reader devices to pick up signals everywhere you go, including in our refrigerators to keep track of what we’re eating.”

What is most alarming to NDP MLA Maurine Karagianis, is that consumers aren’t aware that RFID tags are already widespread.

“First and foremost, it [RFID] is being embedded in consumerism without our knowledge or approval,” Karagianis said in a phone interview.

The representative for Esquimalt–Royal Roads is concerned that Canada’s privacy laws aren’t sufficiently robust to deal with the unique challenges of RFID. “We have no regulation around the use or prohibition or restriction on RFID,” she said. “I’m worried that, without adequate discussions of RFID use and application and what the ramifications could be in the future at a legislative level, the discussion will be led by consumer advocates or corporate retail interests.”

Although B.C. information and privacy commissioner David Loukidelis wonders why the U.S. government is pushing for the adoption of a relatively insecure technology for use in border identification documents, he questions the gravity of related privacy concerns. In a phone conversation with the Straight, he pointed out that along with the licences, the B.C. government is issuing a sleeve that blocks the RFID signal when it is not being used.

Loukidelis asserted that global-positioning-system tracking in cellphones is a much more significant privacy issue. “Nevertheless, the principle of being able to track people as they move about is what is of concern, regardless of the particular technology,” he said.

RFID is just one of a growing number of technologies—including Internet marketing, GPS devices, and store-loyalty cards—that threaten our privacy and are not fully understood by consumers, according to Richard Rosenberg, a UBC professor emeritus of computer science who sits on the board of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.

“All of this taken together leads to a substantial decrease in privacy and a lessening of the importance of privacy in a democratic society,” Rosenberg told the Straight.

Comments (20) Add New Comment
Dr. Hall
I recently published a book about the true account of a woman in Texas who was stalked, drugged and raped by a former FBI agent using satellite tracking technology. A New Breed: Satellite Terrorism in America is available at Barnes and Noble and at www.satweapons.com
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Bernito
google and facebook are also sort of big brotherish ...they apparanlty are saving your info indefinitely...google even tracks you based on sites you visit on the internet that are part of its advertising program
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muzicdiva
Mark of the Beast is on its way! Time to raise your own food, and turn back to God!
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Bender
good-kill all the humans
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Level Head
Isn't is possible to have a discussion about the serious privacy implications of RFID technology without instantly degrading the debate to one of a conspiracy theory? Its possible to use RFID chips and have privacy - they are not mutually exclusive factors. At the same time, it's important to inform people of the real risks without sounding like a total nutbar that's worried about government conspiracies to track its population. Yes, there is potential to abuse the information found in RFID tracking chips. But there are also ways to mitigate that concern within the technology.
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lana
the rapture of the church is almost here people get ready to go
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Mack
Level Head, perhaps you could elaborate on the "real risks" of RFID tech and give us an idea of the acceptable limits of the debate to your mind. Because it seems like you only came in here to nix any further discussion with that two-word thought-stopper "conspiracy theory". Which you then routinely associated with the word "nutbar". Other than that, your post is a little empty. How are we to "mitigate...concern"? We're all ears.
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Voided
The matrix is now real!

Could be a great idea and may save life, but the evil is to big and unfortunately the real purpose of that technology is greater that our imagination.

The only way i can see that technology will be adopted is when will see in our TV a recurring escalation of missing child's... "FUD" will make parents implant there children's at birth!

When RFID will replace our IDs, this will be the end. Humans will be easily controlled worldwide, as we control food today (like beef meat).

Imagination could go in the white or dark side. Everything that is electronic can be hacked...

I wouldn't even tag my cat our dog with that!

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Hellovaman
The technology is the foundation that can fulfill Biblical Scripture. If you follow the pseudo-experts (those with Phd before their names who are not even Phd's in the field) He gets credibility based on Salutations used. Then he's broadcast across the airwaves over and over and over until you are assimilate into the discrediting based on nothing of substance. Some would say the same about Bible Believing people that is a form of brainwashing. It like this If an Allien landed in your back yard and was sitting on your couch when you got home from work. No matter what anyone tells you you will know and believe in aliens because that was your experience. The Bible Believing people believe for similar reasons. They know what they know what they know. There is always a group of self serving that diminish the way the collective is viewed.

When You Cannot Buy Anything, Sell Anything or Trade anything for gain without your Implanted RFID Chip Scripture is being fulfilled, with or without you.
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Rob
don't forget that wall mart is already using them and has forced their suppliers to do the same if they want to do business with them. when you shop at gap fat chance they're in your jeans, shoes etc according to some journalists on internet. they are already in your mobile phone used with gps (police in europe have already acknowledged years ago that they keep track of people that way) paper money is next so government can trace who pays in cash still because the prefer anonimity (of course people paying with cash are suspicious as such) . in 2003/2004 the european central bank alread discussed putting chips in paper money. you think the fed in the usa will do anything less or the canadian central bank? of course they are not going to tell you.
the whole concept of rfid chip is nonsense. has no sensible uses just downsides. they are also in your car and michelin tires. so what business is it of governments and corporations to monitor you 24/7? yes indeed.
maybe because we live in a world where the corporation has merged with the government (according to mussolini that is the real definition of fascism)? everyone knows corporations own politicians etc. who else would finance their campaigns if they don't do what they are told?
yes hello. this has nothing to do with "safety" crap. such a lame excuse.
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Kevin
People need to look at the RFID chips with the ongoing evil in the world, and the rapid decay of morals and realize the time the time of the Rapture are just about upon us! these chips with their tracking ability are the forerunner to the beast system! People count the re-birth of Isreal and along with the fact that a biblical generation is 70 years ( birth of isreal 1948 + 70 years = 2018. Then figure 7 years of revelation. 2018- 7 years =2011) What I am saying is that the return of our lord is just around the corner, and the rapture preceding revelationmeans the rapture is going to happen between now and 2011. Marantha Jesus ( Lord come quickly)
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Veritas
What are you blathering about, Kev? A biblical generation is not 70 years. It's 40 years. 1948 + 40 = 1988. Nothing happened, in case you didn't notice. So you increase "biblical generation" to 70. What has 1948 got to do with it anyway??
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Kevin
This is to Veritas. 1st of all 1948 was the year Isreaal became a nation. 2nd you have no clue what you are talking about!! 70 years is a biblical generation. In the book of Genesis God limited a man's lifespan to 120 years, that doesnt mean he will live 120,but the limit! All scripture is God breathed, I dont make this up myself. And for your information I was using the countdown for the tribulation.If you read the scriptures you might have more than an I.Q.OF 3
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karyn
the fact is, the Lord Almighty IS coming soon, so is the rapture. i cant convince any non-believer of this. its like when a woman gets pregnant for the first time........she asks every mom she sees........."how will i know when im in labor?" ladies.................what was the answer you ALWAYS got? "OH, YOU"LL KNOW!" the same is true w/biblilcal truths. if ya dont believe, ya wont believe. if ya do believe, noone can make you NOT believe. i believe the biblical truths, just as i believe that im suckin in oxygen even as i write this note.
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John H
Sorry, the read distances you mention are James Bond ridicuous (that drivers license you mention sends an active RFID signal that you chose to have, they already take your license plate number and picture so whats the difference?). You also cannot scan a crowd that has RFID cards in thyeir wallets within 30 feet with a reader in a backpack as you suggest. The one about the thief scanningyoru home was a great laugh. Get your facts straight and stop unneccessarily scaring people, RFID has many great time and cost saving applications and is akin to bar coding which we have already.
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lee w l
Listen i live in the vancouver area.I had a surgery at eagle rigde hospital to repair a torn S1L1 disk in my back.This was a W.C.B. related claim.Turns out a few years later i'm in a motor vehicle accident and have to go to the hospital for x-ray's on a possible broken left arm.To my suprise the doctor told me i did not have fracture,but asked when i had surgery to fix a previous fracture.My reply was those must not be my x-ray's.But he assured me that they were.Now comes the tricky part i should not have anything in my arm,so i can only assume it came from my surgery at egle ridge hospital.I've scanned this so called steel and it happen's to produce a radio signal.I'm not in the business of spying on people but i am pretty sure W.C.B is since they cut off my benefits and would only proceed with this procedure if i seen their neuro-surgeon.All my doctors records can be accessed any time upon request i've been with the same doctors for thirty years.I don't know what to do about this does anybody know someone who can remove this or provide any information about this subject.I would like to have a few answers on how to resolve this problem.How would you feel if your privacy was invaded to the point of where you could possibly being tracked.I know this sounds crazy but it makes more sense than alien abductions.I can't prove any of these outlandish statements.I just want to find the truth.
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Fact
I'm just on here studying the micro chip. I don't care what anybody says. Its not going to be a good thing. I also believe this is the beginning of a One World Order. A lot of people are walking through this life half asleep and that's why this chip will be accepted by most. Gods people will never accept this. God is coming, faith is the answer. If you have faith in God you will never be alone or scarred. So don't worry, I say come on Satin show us what you've got, because you will never win!
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orangeaspossible
have been researching the RFID chip for an upcoming article for my blog and I am so concerned with what I have found, that I am going to write and some observations.

Here we go:

If the government won't be monitoring us, because they so called 'don't have the time' then why the need to be so invasive? I have no problem with allowing the government to verify my ID. That doesn't bug me at all, as I am not committing a crime. I do have a problem when the government, which is run by corporate shills for companies such as MONSANTO, have access to information as to what I the individual eat. Companies have no right to know if Joe Blow eats bananas three times a week, or which brand he buys and where he buys it. If the goal is to have a paperless currency, the government will know who buys what and when. They won't care about Joe Blow, they want access to dissenters, people who question and people that oppose.

If I say anything negative against the government or how it is run, what stops a government from turning off my chip? Tampering with my supermarket? This chip is supposed to be in our hands, we must ask, why in our hands!? So we don't lose them?! So the corporations are guaranteed the best access to our behaviors? What gives them the right? I have read these things cause tumors, TUMORS, around the chip in some people. Not only that, ask the question if the government is so keen to know your behavior then does this chip have some way to manipulate it? Humans respond to electronic stimuli in different ways, we have no idea what this chip can actually do! I didn't sign up for this, and neither did anyone else!

Medic alert bracelets?! Remember those? People who have serious illnesses and the such should be wearing medic alert bracelets. There is no instance when people take these off, so why it is necessary to implant these chips into our hands?

They have gone way too far with this one. From my research the government have been planning this for years - and the introduction in my opinion, is very premature. What is the rush? I don't think anyone will buy into this and it just waking people up to the absolute control the government desires and has been unleashing on us.

Paperless currency, eh? Do the government really want people to stumble upon what is really going on? This is an excellent way to awakening the people; I see a massive backfire in the midst.

ORANGE
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katherine
I don't mind my things being chipped. i know how to buy from old thrift shops and pawn stores. but i don't want in in my body. do you remember the movie enemy of the state? Will Smith had take off his shoes.
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Robbie
Regardless of how you see this RFID, this still has been prophesied in the Bible and other ancient biblical texts. Ultimately, it is the control of the people that the government wants. It is the control of the world, regardless of how many or few people are in it. Let's look at facts. They are coming. Just a matter of time (probably within a year or two). You can either accept them blindly stating that they are a convenience to your life, or reject them for what they are; devices to infiltrate your complete life and soul.
As for me and my house, I am redeemed. I have no fear. I don't have to worry about my future as it has already been written. When the time comes and I have no choice but to accept or reject these implants for survival, I will choose to reject them. I will also not prepare for armageddon as this too would be futile. I have no fear. Until then, I will live my life according to the scriptures and to the best of my human faulty soul will allow, knowing that God has already forgiven my transgressions and that He alone will keep me from harm.
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