December 01, 2003
Human Subdermal Credit Card Announced

Advanced Digital Solutions has announced their Veripay embedded radio frequency ID (RFID) cash and credit card technology.

Some day we may be able to walk into a store and be completely alone and not have to see a living person in sight, imagine walking out holding the items you want and being billed instantly just as you leave the store. No confrontations, no customer service, no cute check-out girl, isn't our future grand.

To entice you more, APS is offering $50 Off to the First 100,000 registrants at the time of the their first "chipping" procedure.

Does anyone remember James Coburn in that 1967 paranoid classic movie The President's Analyst? At one point Coburn's character is kidnapped by "The Phone Company" because "The Phone Company" wants Coburn to convince the President of the United States to authorize the implantation of embedded telephone devices in everyone's brains that would allow everyone to think a phone number and have a phone connection made instantly to that phone number. Well, this proposal is not quite as radical. But effortless totally automated and instantaneous shopping check-out certainly would take us in that general direction.

The chip is embedded in the arm.

VeriChip is a subdermal, radio frequency identification (RFID) device that can be used in a variety of security, financial, emergency identification and other applications. About the size of a grain of rice, each VeriChip product contains a unique verification number that is captured by briefly passing a proprietary scanner over the VeriChip. The standard location of the microchip is in the triceps area between the elbow and the shoulder of the right arm. The brief outpatient “chipping” procedure lasts just a few minutes and involves only local anesthetic followed by quick, painless insertion of the VeriChip. Once inserted just under the skin, the VeriChip is inconspicuous to the naked eye. A small amount of radio frequency energy passes from the scanner energizing the dormant VeriChip, which then emits a radio frequency signal transmitting the verification number. In October 2002, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled that VeriChip is not a regulated device with regard to its security, financial, personal identification/safety applications but that VeriChip's healthcare information applications are regulated by the FDA. VeriChip Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Applied Digital Solutions.

Recall that one reason carjackings have become popular is that it is much harder for criminals to steal unattended cars that have more technologically advanced anti-theft features. So attempts to steal a car from a person who has the key in hand or in the ignition are a response to technological advances in anti-theft technology. Well, it is easy to imagine some of the ways that criminals might respond to embedded credit cards:

  • Gouge the credit card bit out of the place where it is embedded.
  • Force a person to accompany a criminal to an ATM or into a store to buy things.
  • Kill a person and use the dead body or body part to gain entrance to a secure facility or to pass out of a store with goods.

Biometric tests combined with an embedded chip would eliminate the value of just taking the chip out of the body. A really advanced biometric test could even check the body temperature or iris response to light in order to verify that a person is alive and conscious. Another possible counter would be to put sensors on the device that check via various means whether it is still in the target host body and whether that body is still alive and free of trauma. One can even imagine an embedded cell phone technology where the device would phone for help in event that it is either removed from its host or the host is significantly harmed. So each counter the criminals might develop could be met by still more technological counters.

Stores could conceivably use this technology to track what path each person takes thru a store and what counter displays attract their attention.

Yet this is precisely why Katherine Albrecht, the founder of the consumer advocacy group CASPIAN, finds Veripay frightening: "It's a lot easier to cancel and credit card account than it is to gouge a chip out of your arm." She worries that the chips will provide tracking opportunities for advertisers wishing to know the intimate shopping habits of particular consumers.

If the idea of this device seems too creepy keep in mind that the use of it is voluntary. Will embedded credit cards take off in popularity? Or will some other first application be able to better break through popular resistance? For instance, I'd expect embedded devices that could identify a person's location to catch on with less resistance than embedded credit cards might encounter since many parents would be strongly attracted to the idea of being able to rapidly find a kidnapped child. Another target market for embedded devices that will meet with less resistance are devices for health problems. An embedded device that would have the ability to do a cell phone call to alert that a person is having an epileptic fit or a heart attack would be attractive to many people. Also, for Alzheimer's patients the ability to find them if they wondered off or for law enforcement personnel to scan one of them to figure out who they are and where to return them would be of some value.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2003 December 01 02:32 PM  Surveillance Society

Patrick said at December 1, 2003 10:13 PM:

I can see a problem with the software that detects if you are under duress (from a credit chip highjacking) refusing to let you buy something you need in a (stressfull) emergency. No painkillers, bandages, condoms, or last minute flowers on your wife's birthday for you!

Michael Mealling said at December 2, 2003 8:09 AM:

I'm somewhat involved in the RFID world so I can be somewhat sure that RFID appliations like this simply won't take off. RFID just isn't that good yet. And its so spoofable. Yea, some chips have encryption built into them but the size of something like that is prohibitively large (especially for surgical implantation). Plus, they're sensitive to things like microwaves. Its easy to burn one of these things out. The closest I think anyone will ever get to this is putting the RFID transmitters and readers in a cell phone (which is already being done in Japan). Much easier to manage, upgrade, repair, etc....

Patrick 2 said at December 2, 2003 8:22 AM:

This could be a Palladium-compliant user identification device (since passwords are so hackable) that Microsoft will enforce once it extends the principle of secure hardware to the user level. After all, what good is secure software and hardware if you can't securely identify the user? Microsoft already wants to store your credit card numbers via Passport. This could be the secure user id that allows you to access all your financial information courtesy Microsoft servers in the future. Also, how long do you think that the chip will remain in the arm? The hand is a much better place since it'll be hard to differentiate users when more people have them - they'll have to swipe the chip closer over something. Beware the Mark.

chelsey said at March 22, 2004 9:18 AM:

hi, i have a feeling this product will eventually work. i don't however approve of it. in my opinion it is just leading up to what the antichrist will need to use in his plan to overcome the world. if you don't believe me, please read revelation 13:16

Phyllis Brown said at April 22, 2004 9:00 AM:

I Do NOt agree with this. This is a form of the mark of the beast. Please read Revelation 13: 16-17.

kath said at December 19, 2004 8:13 AM:

thanks for the site, was able to get some info for my research. i think this gadget would be put to good use. theft-proof,and convinience..etc. there are a lot of good possibilities upon this use, though i wonder why people still think that this is the bad mark. regarding privacy matters, wasnt it said that the gadget is dormant?not unless it was exposed to a scanner right?so,if this is dormant, how can it be of exposure of all the person's detail if it is not exposed to the said device? therefore, you think it still violates the privacy rights? and it was said from other sites that it already has gps, does it already have a built in gps? i need to be updated on such matters, i really need the answers!!pls help!

kath said at December 19, 2004 8:20 AM:

o yeah, abt the said verses, yes it may be of some relevance. but upon reasearch,iv discovered that the implantation of the chip (from a bill)will always be voluntary. the invented chip right now is not the chip mentioned in the bible. i think we shouldnt rely on what is said,i used to believe that this is the mark but as i research on these stuff iv discovered that many site are just made to scare people abt the chip's capabilities...ya know faith can be a good reference..but not THE ONLY some research before making up your still gonna stick to basics..

susan smith said at November 12, 2005 6:59 PM:

people are taking it on their right hand (side) under their right ear. I know a couple who could not get health insurance in Holland except that they take it, which alas they did, the right hand also means the right side. Can this injection under the ear, in the neck muscles transmit messages from outside to the recipient, so that they think that it is their own
thought(s)? My advice is to stay away from this unnatural devise.

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