Will Personal ID Chips Prevent Identity Theft -- Or Lead To It?

Personal ID Chips Aren't Science Fiction After All

It used to be that having a microchip implanted in one's skin was nothing but a science fiction fairy tale. Nowadays, however, it's reality. VeriChip is putting personal ID chips into its customers and providing hospitals with free scanners. The chip can be used to confirm identity and can even store medical history. But will these chips keep identity theft from happening, or will it create even more problems?

What's On The Chip?

Technically, information isn't really stored on the personal ID chips. Rather, the chip has a number and you have to log into an encrypted website to access any information associated with a specific id chip. For instance, if you have chip number 01010101 and you were in an accident, the hospital could scan your chip, log into the website with their unique information and access your personal information.

The companies making the personal ID chips would like you to believe that because the chip just holds a number, it's not a security risk. This isn't necessarily true.

Human Greed

If there's a website holding all of the information associated with all of the personal ID chips out there, then there's a way to get into the website. Whether it's through technologically-advanced hacking methods or someone simply selling a hospital's user name and password, someone could potentially access the data.

Add the above information to the fact that the chips themselves aren't encrypted and that any one tuning into the chip's frequency could get your number, and it's a bit of a security risk. Further, unfortunately these chips can easily be hacked from 40 feet away or more!

Big Brother

Another potential downside to personal ID chips is that they open up even more opportunities for "big brother" to watch us. While I'm all for the advancement of technology and making people's lives easier and more secure, I really don't think personal ID chips are necessary, or even advisable if you have to store personal information on them.

That being said, if they can create personal ID chips that store nothing but medical information in case of an emergency, I'm all for it as long as there is no way for the chip to be used for invasion of privacy.

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