There is a lot going around about RFID tags. I've heard rumors that it will be in US passports coming up soon. Apparently Wal-Mart is really agressively pursuing this technology to tag all of their products from the factory to the garbage bin.
Some companies have been thinking about putting the tags in their employee's bodies. This may sound insane, but from the corporations' points of view, it makes a lot of sense. I would never, flat out, put a microchip into my body for any company…. Well, I'll revise that, the figure would have to be in the low 9 digits.
From a techie's point of view, the technology seems really cool, but I can understand why it shakes people up. First off it can really be used to figure out exactly who you are and where you've been by your prosessions. Most people carry and wear so much stuff that you could never get them all off. The potential for abuses of privacy seem too far out for anyone to contemplate, yet you know it almost definately has to happen.
How could anyone think otherwise. There is too much in the way of temptation for security agencies. But not only that. It really isn't the security agencies that I worry about. Its more in the way of companies. The government has so much oversight, bureaucracy, and tech-ignorance that it will be quite some time before the government is monitoring everything. The groups that have the most to benefit from with monitoring its people are corporations. They can tell how much time you spend in the john during the day and ask you questions about it if they want.
But let's get away from the fear stuff for a minute and think about the cool factor. If you had thousands of small chips on your body, you could get up to significant processing power. You could have networks in your body to regulate hormones, etc… to highten response times. The possibilities are endless. You could really read someone's mind at will. Communication across language barriers could be realized. Cybernetic systems could facilitate all sorts of cool new technology and medicine. The problem is keeping a definate line that separates man and machine. The other little problem is the issue of personal freedom in this country. I am of course being facetious. It is necessary that with these networks there is adequate security built in to stop snooping by the government, employers, and marketers.