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Microchipping – Humans

Microchipping is becoming more and more popular with pet owners using this process to identify their pets.  The reason why people do this is because, as we know, pets get lost quite easily.  The pet is found or picked up by animal control and can be easily identified through the microchip and returned to its owner.  The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and can be inserted into the pet or attached to it, similar to a piercing.

Simple.

What about microchipping humans?  Not quite as simple.

Initially the idea of microchipping humans was for reasons including turning on lights and opening garage doors, providing direct access to a persons medical records etc. It is akin to carrying an ID card with you, except this one cannot be lost as it is inserted into a persons hand.

I can see a better use of this technology rather than turning on lights.

Currently the microchip contains information but it is not a GPS (Global Positioning System).  I think it will eventually get to the point where humans can have a very small GPS microchip implanted into the body.  The benefits of this are wide ranging.

The question is this.  Who should have GPS microchips implanted?  I think kids should.

You read stories regularly about children going missing, but kids going missing is nothing new.  In 1966, 3 Australian school children vanished from an Adelaide beach. Despite an exhaustive search and enquiries for over 40 years, the Beaumont kids have never been located.  It is possible they are still alive but most likely they are dead.  No one knows and this mystery which has captivated a country, will most likely never be solved.

The Beaumont Children

In 2003, young Queenslander, Daniel Morcombe, 13, went missing one December while waiting for a bus on the Sunshine Coast.  Despite massive media and an enormous police search, Daniel has never been found.

It’s not only Aussie kids who go missing.  In 2007, 3 year old British toddler, Madeleine McCann was abducted while her family were on holiday in Portugal.  Despite worldwide media attention and an exhaustive search, Maddie, also, has never been found.

Madeleine McCann
Daniel Morcombe

These are three examples of kids who have vanished, never to be seen or heard from again.  If the technology was available and each of these children had a GPS microchip implanted into them, the chances are that they would either have been located quickly…….dead or alive.  While it is terrible to think that yes, they could be dead, at least the families would know.  Currently, families of missing children have no idea whether their kids are alive or not.  As a father, I would want to know either way, no matter the pain hearing that my child was dead would cause.  At least from there you can move on.

So what about privacy issues?  Are our kids entitled to privacy?  By having a microchip implanted are mum and dad going to be checking out your movements when you are 15 and out with your friends?  The temptation is certainly there to do just that.

What happens when they turn 18?  As adults, do they keep the microchip implanted or have it removed?  Adults go missing as well and never heard from again.  I remember the case of Sharron Phillips who went missing in 1986 when her car ran out of petrol near Wacol in Brisbane.  She has never been found.  If she was microchipped would she have been found?  Most likely.  Even if she was found dead, her parents would have had closure and 24 years later would at least be at ease.

Let’s investigate a world where microchipping is the standard and all kids have one implanted. Would this mean that child abductions would stop or massively reduce?  Or would professional people smugglers (which is one theory behind Madeleine McCann’s disappearance) quickly remove the implanted microchip and destroy it? If that happens, will the children be injured during the process of removal?  Will they get infections?  Because the abductor will want the chip removed quickly before there is an opportunity for the chip to be activated and the childs location found, the methods of removal will be crude, with no pain relief or anaesthetic used.

Or will technology evolve to the use of mini EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) machines which an abductor would wave over the microchip area to disable it? There are many possibilities.

I think for those kids who go missing at the hands of non professionals or accidently, the microchip is a good idea.  People who go missing bushwalking or swimmers and scuba divers who get caught at sea in a rip and can drift many, many miles away from their known location can be found. Surely a microchip would assist rescuers and searchers.

Are there health risks?  Currently there are.  Lab rats have developed cancerous cells around the microchips.  I wouldn’t want a microchip if there was a chance of getting cancer.  But if they can find a way around this, then I think it is worthwhile looking at.

As I mentioned earlier, what about privacy?  Will parents be checking up on their kids? If the chip can only be accessed by emergency services in the case of disappearance then that should solve that issue.  I wouldn’t want to be checking up on my kids anyway.  That shows a complete lack of trust and if you can’t give your kids trust, how can they ever become trustworthy?

As a father, and if it was safe, I would want my kids to get microchipped.  There are so many benefits to it.  If at the age of 18 they wanted to have it removed, then that is their choice.

It’s where the world is heading and technology can be useful.

I think eventually the technology will become available and it will be cheap and it will be safe.  Would you microchip your kids?  What about yourself?  Are there major privacy issues?  Would love to hear your thoughts.