USA Today Article Promises: “You Will Get Chipped”


USA Today just wants you to know, just in case you have any ideas otherwise:

You will get chipped.

Their article picks up on the aftermath of the “Chipping Event” at Three Square Market (see: “Company Implanting Microchips In Workers”), including news that there has been some online pushback against the company (1-star reviews, complaints on Facebook, and etc.).

They then go on to interview several experts—who opine that eventually, everyone will be chipped by their employer so no biggie. Among the projections is that while we might not see a lot of chipped persons in our generation, it will probably be commonplace in the next; and that “In 10 years, Facebook, Google, Apple and Tesla will not have their employees chipped.”

This article seems to minimize possible downsides to being chipped by one’s employer (or the government, or your credit card company)—such as privacy issues, hacking, possible health risks, and so on—and tries to connect the fear of the chip with religious fanaticism (including quoting a rando “crazy Christian” Facebook message about the resurrection of Christ).

But buried in the article (under the subsection “Not A GPS Tracker”) is the line “However, analysts believe future chips will track our every move.” Now: there are possible pitfalls with this whole “tracking your every move” thing, correct? You can’t “shut off” the chip, as far as I can tell. You are always “on.” And there is no place you can go that won’t be recorded.

And Kent Grayson, a professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, is quoted as saying: “You’ve got to have a lot of trust to put one of those in your body.”

I fully agree with this piece that chips will be commonplace in the future—in fact, I think they will start to be mainstream by the mid-2020s. I’m not against “progress,” and I do not think this technology is “Satanic.”

But the article is representative of many that tout these new technologies as “the next big thing”—almost like a “trend” piece—while at the same time not addressing enough their potential pitfalls and sometimes casting naysayers as religious nutjobs or conspiracy theorists. It’s either “all” or “nothing”—but certainly, we need to approach such information with more discernment, nuance, and critical thinking than that.