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Companies in Scandinavia and the US have already embraced microchipping as a way to make the office experience more seamless by allowing employees to easily unlock doors or pay for food in the cafeteria.
Of course, while workers say they've welcomed the technology (one Russian hobbyist has reported self-implanted six microchips), and companies not to abuse the technology, the temptation to do so should make people nervous.
But the use of microchips in the workplace likely won’t be limited to corporate environments. Pretty soon, microchipping might become a common tool for monitoring professional and amateur athletes as sports leagues try to eradicate the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs.
At least that’s what recent remarks from Mike Miller, chief executive of the World Olympians Association, appeared to suggest. Speaking Tuesday to anti-doping leaders at a Westminster forum on integrity in sport, Miller said the Olympic Games should begin microchipping athletes to try and prevent the type of state-sponsored evasion of anti-doping rules purportedly organized by the Russian government ahead of the winter games in Sochi, the Guardian reported.
Because cheating is so widespread, Miller said such a radical approach is justified to help protect the integrity of the games. However, in what appears to be an ill-conceived attempt to preempt criticism, Miller clumsily compare human athletes to animals, saying that, since microchips are now being used to monitor pets, using them on humans wouldn’t be that much of a stretch.
“Some people say we shouldn’t do this to people,” Miller said. “Well, we’re a nation of dog lovers, we’re prepared to chip our dogs and it doesn’t seem to harm them, so why aren’t we prepared to chip ourselves?”
The Olympics should act quickly to begin microchipping, Miller said, because a breakthrough in the technology is on the horizon that could allow microchips into a potent tool for cheaters. For example, the chips could be used to determine when levels of banned substances in an athletes blood have returned to “normal” levels.
What about the invasion of privacy inherent in using microchips? Well, Miller has an answer for that, too, noting that sports are “a club and people don’t have to join…if they don’t want to.”
“In order to stop doping we need to chip our athletes where the latest technology is there. Some people say it’s an invasion of privacy, well, sport is a club and people don’t have to join the club if they don’t want to, if they can’t follow the rules.”
“Microchips get over the issue of whether the technology can be manipulated because they have no control over the device. The problem with the current anti-doping system is that all it says is that at a precise moment in time there are no banned substances but we need a system which says you are illegal substance-free at all times and if there are changes in markers they will be detected.”