Not chipping in.

Author:Rundles, Jeff
Position::RUNDLES WRAP UP
 
FREE EXCERPT

Modern technology isn't anathema to me, in spite of what my children believe. My profession, journalism, was one of the first adopters of office-use computer technology, and I was on the World Wide Web right from the start, in dial-up access. I get technology, and I marvel at and use its many benefits both professionally and personally. I was a "truck chaser" for cable TV and, while it seems antiquated now, my office in the early 1980s was one of the first in the city to get a fax machine.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

But I remain wary, and increasingly so. "This website wants to use your location..." Ah, no. Oh, and my smart phone already knows my location--not to mention the day and time--which is creepy. If I rent a car online, or whatever, I get a million ads for that type of service, not to mention emails and texts. There's so much information, so much personal and invasive information, just roaming around out there in the "net" or the "cloud," and it is obviously being shared in spite of assurances that it isn't, that it just all gets creepier by the minute.

Not a day goes by when there isn't a news story about another breach of information, another hack of data. From what you hear "they"--the government? the Russians? your bank? Google?--listen to your phone calls, read your texts and emails, and may even be looking in on you with the built-in cameras on computers, phones, even cars. "They" say it's benevolent, even beneficial. But it's still creepy.

It's about to get even creepier.

A Wisconsin vending machine software company, Three Square Market, is beginning a test program to "chip" their employees, a la those microchips you can implant into your dog to aid in identifying a lost one. And apparently, the workers are sitting up and begging for it. According to reports I read, a small microchip, an RFID, or radio frequency ID, will be inserted in employees' hands between their thumb and forefinger--painless, they say, and the company is magnanimously picking up the $300/each tab--to allow the workers to "open doors, pay for purchases, share business cards, store medical information, and login to their computers, all at the wave of a hand."

A Swedish company,...

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