With echoes from a futuristic Hollywood blockbuster, does the idea of Microchipping your workforce sound far-fetched?
It is in fact becoming a reality within several businesses. Viewed as an alternative to lanyards and security ID passes, companies in Belgium, Sweden and the Czech Republic have offered this alternative to their workforce. Although this option has only initially received a small uptake, less than 10% of the workforce agreeing to participate...
are we on the cusp of a new norm?
Wisconsin based firm, Three Square Market, is the latest company offering this technology to its employees. The embedded microchip will:
- enable their workforce to log into their computers without passwords,
- instantly use photocopiers and other office equipment,
- automatically unlock security doors, and
- even pay for food from the canteen.
The microchip, which is the size of a grain of rice is inserted between the thumb and forefinger.
Opt in or Opt out?
62% of Three Squared Market employees have already volunteered to have the microchip inserted. At a cost of £230 per microchip, in comparison to an average £20.00 for a standard ID security card and lanyard. Although using the microchip certainly removes the possibility of losing your pass.
For those worried about your privacy and your employer being able to track your daily routine, Three Square Market have confirmed the microchip data has no GPS tracking functionality.
"All it is, is an RFID chip reader, it’s not a GPS tracking device. It’s passive and can only give data when data is requested. Nobody can track you with it. Your cell phone does 100 times more reporting of data than does an RFID chip.” ~ Todd Westby, CEO, Three Square Market
Data, Privacy and Control
When it comes to our personal privacy, you can make the argument CCTV, travel cards, mobile phones and social media platforms already track us on a daily basis. All using digital algorithms to secure our personal shopping habits and current locations. Overall, we seem to have relatively accepted this technology and its intrusion. However, we are still able to control certain elements by switching off data roaming and changing security settings, to enable us to decide what data we share.
"We've survived thousands of years as a species without being microchipped, is there any particular need to do it now? Everyone has a decision to make; that is, how much privacy and security are they willing to trade for convenience?"~ chairman and founder of data protection firm CyberScout, Adam Levin, speaking to ABC News.
The Technology-Enabled Office
The Stoddart Review – A Workplace Advantage discusses the tech-enabled office, with Beacons, LED Smart lights, individual heating and light control via Apps and the internet of things which allows technology to communicate across the ‘smart office’.
Is the microchip the next logical step for the future of the workplace?
The chip itself is a small piece of technology, but it does require employees to insert a foreign object into their bodies at the bequest of their employer. I undertook a small survey at Condeco and asked the team if they would be willing to be microchipped, here’s what they had to say.
We all have our own vision of the future, and opinions of the smart building and technology; and maybe Microchipping will be part of those future trends? But for now, it’s divided opinion, so with that in mind let me ask you the question, would you be willing to be microchipped by your employer?
*This article was compiled by Claire Roper, UK Digital Marketing Manager at Condeco