Recently, a company in Wisconsin will be the first in the United States to put microchip implants in its employees. According to reports, over 50 employees at Three Square Market (32M) are expected to voluntarily have microchips implanted between their thumb and forefinger. The chips are radio-frequency identification chips (RFID) that will be used to perform common office tasks by waving their hand. According to Todd Westby, the implant is the size of a grain of rice.
Mr. Westby, the CEO of 32M, indicated that the chips would be able to “make purchases in the break room, open doors, clock in and out of the office, and operate the copy machine, among others.” The chips use near-field communication, which is what is in animal microchips and credit cards.
Earlier this year, Epicenter, a Swedish Company began using similar microchips with 80 employees. These micro chips cost about $300 per chip. Companies like 32M are covering the cost of the employee’s micro chip. This process eliminates the need to carry an identification card. It also eliminates any costs associated with having to replace and deactivate the card, in the event that an employee loses or misplaces it. In addition, it helps to mitigate security risks.
However, many individuals have concerns about whether or not an employer is able to track his or her whereabouts. According to Mr. Westby, these chips do not have a GPS component and cannot be hacked because they are encrypted. According to Mr. Westby, his wife and children will be implanted with the microchips as well.
While many employees are on board with having the microchip implanted, others remain hesitant that the chip will provide an immense amount of insight into the employee’s day-to-day activity, such as how often he or she takes a break or goes to the bathroom. If an employee decides he or she no longer wants the microchip, the implant can be easily removed.
Many individuals see this as a vast improvement in technology. Others believe it poses privacy concerns.
As technology evolves and microchip implants become more popular in the workplace, there will be concerns and issues by employees and employers. If you have concerns regarding employment law issues, contact the New York employment law attorney Steven Mitchell Sack to protect your rights. Call Steven Mitchell Sack, “The Employee’s Lawyer,” at (917) 371-8000 or email him at sms@StevenSack.com.