Brave new world alert: A Wisconsin-based tech company called Three Square Market has just become the first employer in the country to replace traditional security key cards with implanted microchips. Though it sounds like the kind of dystopian nightmare you might read about in a dark novel or tribulation literature, it’s the real deal. And the company says there’s absolutely nothing to be worried about.
Of course, that’s what they would say…
According to The New York Times, Three Square Market will begin rolling out the (now optional) microchips on August 1, at which time employees will be offered the opportunity to have a microchip the “size of a grain of rice” implanted in their hand. Once it’s there, the chipped employees will be able to do anything they would otherwise be doing with their security cards – enter the building, get into sensitive areas, and even buy snacks – with nothing more than a swipe of their hands. But while the chips offer greater convenience, some are concerned that the ease of movement will come at much too high a price.
Even with privacy concerns swirling, however, the majority of employees at the tech company are ready to hold out their hand and step into the future.
From The New York Times:
The program is not mandatory, but as of Monday, more than 50 out of 80 employees at Three Square’s headquarters in River Falls, Wis., had volunteered.
“It was pretty much 100 percent yes right from the get-go for me,” said Sam Bengtson, a software engineer. “In the next five to 10 years, this is going to be something that isn’t scoffed at so much, or is more normal. So I like to jump on the bandwagon with these kind of things early, just to say that I have it.”
Jon Krusell, another software engineer, and Melissa Timmins, the company’s sales director, were more hesitant. Mr. Krusell, who said he was excited about the technology but leery of an implanted device, might get a ring with a chip instead.
“Because it’s new, I don’t know enough about it yet,” Ms. Timmins said. “I’m a little nervous about implanting something into my body.”
Still, “I think it’s pretty exciting to be part of something new like this,” she said. “I know down the road, it’s going to be the next big thing, and we’re on the cutting edge of it.”
At a moment in time when Americans are already concerned about the long arm of Big Brother, when Christians are concerned about the first signs of the End Times, and when nearly everyone is disturbed about technology’s effect on personal privacy, these microchips will certainly not come without their share of intense controversy. And while they may be optional and scarce today, it could be only a matter of time before they are widespread and mandatory.
If they come to your place of business, will you be among those in line?