Article

Chip me? Think tank debates chip implants for people

Margie Semilof

Forget about having a chip on on your shoulder -- what about having a chip in your shoulder?

A Washington think tank has been debating whether it would be a good idea to plant rice-sized microchips in humans as a way to identify them as well as store important data about their health.

If this kind of thing sounds familiar, you must have seen the movie Free Willy. Keiko the killer whale had something like that done to him in order to track him in the wild. Your neighbor's dog might be "chipper" too -- so his owner can find him should he wander off.

Of course, the idea of a chip keeping tabs on anyone gets under the skin of privacy advocates. They are irate at the thought of people packing processors that can basically keep track of their every move. On the "pro" side, some scientists are talking up the chips' promise to speed the process of identifying missing persons and help make faster medical diagnoses.

After all, fingerprints are nice, but they can't keep your medical records or the phone numbers of your closest relatives at their fingertips.

So far, about 20 people have been chipped, including a whole family from Florida.

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