A Brave New World is beginning to take shape in Sweden as a Stockholm-based firm, Epicenter, is currently experimenting with microchip implants meant to replace swipe-card technology. Is this the future of employee tracking devices? Epicenter believes so.
150 Employees Volunteered to Participate in the Experiment
Epicenter managed to convince 150 employees to allow the implantation of a small microchip in the palm of their hand. For the moment, the device is only used for menial tasks like clocking in, using the photocopier, and open access doors.
If the experiment proves to be a success, the company plans on extending the microchip’s functionality by adding a Pay-Pass-like feature. Therefore, all those who sport a palm-chip could be able to pay for a hot beverage at the company’s café with just a wave of the hand. The plan is to rid their employees of having to rely on a swipe card – which is often misplaced and leads to severe headaches.
Patrick Mesterson, co-founder and CEO of Epicenter, takes pride on the idea, arguing that the implant considerably simplifies the life of all parties. Moreover, it replaces the need for passwords, no actual information being disclosed to the employees, and the eventuality of individuals swiping passwords and access codes between them being eliminated.
HR Managers Are Not Impressed
Deborah Peppard, director of HR Staff n’ Stuff, declared herself “horrified” at the idea, invoking George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984. And she’s not wrong. If employees aren’t able to tend for a swipe card, then they are not able to juggle important tasks.
Microbiologists also oppose the use of microchips, arguing that the company could easily use the devices to track all the movements of their employees, their health status, and even their bathroom breaks.
At the moment, a considerable number of employers are using mobile applications that track the comings and goings of employees. Even those slightly intrusive programs are not welcomed by a large portion of individuals who feel unnecessarily surveilled. A microchip would probably prompt them to look for another job.
Commodity seems to take a serious toll on privacy, more and more people opting for intrusive alternatives to moderately pesky daily attributions. In other words, it is better to risk losing a swipe card than to have a microchip implanted into your palm. Furthermore, if the chip’s functions can be updated, when will the employers draw a line?
Would you choose a microchip implant for your business?
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