Inside the Australian Government’s Scary Web Site on Microchip ID Implants
By Jim Edwards
If the Australian government really doesn’t want to implant its citizens with PositiveID (PSID) microchips, it sure isn’t helping itself with its Web page dedicated to a “literature review” of different patient identification technologies, including VeriChip, “palm vein scanning,” radio frequency identification, and other dystopian sci-fi ideas.
While the New South Wales Department of Health Web page is ostensibly a reference point for officials who want to reduce medical errors caused by patient mixups, it looks pretty scary if you’re someone who thinks that society is heading toward a Minority Report-style dictatorship in which everyone carries a compulsory microchip implant. And there are lots of those people.
Managers ought to be aware that transparency has a flip side: The same information can look mighty different when viewed by unintended audiences.
Australia is in the middle of a healthcare reform, and a central plank of those changes is the introduction of a “personally controlled electronic health record system,” or e-Health scheme, that gives each Australian a 16-digit ID number. By unfortunate coincidence, PositiveID’s VeriChip device also relies on a 16-digit system, and its Health Link medical records product sounds exactly like the online database Australia is creating.
So, paranoid Americans who believe President Obama wants to introduce a socialist World Government that controls its subjects via RFID chips just caught a lucky break: Australia is giving us all a sneak preview.