"Micro-chipping" a person

On the radio today, I heard a story about a lady in a mental institution that claimed that she had a microchip implanted in her. They reported that x-ray images showed something and when they cut into her, they found a micro-chip. The implication was that this was being used in human trafficking.

My question is, how does this work? While the radio piece mentioned GPS tracking, they never said that the microchip would allow tracking. I don’t see how that could be done, anyway, since the chip reader has to be within 8 inches or so of the microchip in order to read it. What would the microchip provide that a simple tattoo number would not?

I guess I am at a loss at what the issue of micro-chipping? My dog has a microchip and when he runs away, it is useless unless the person who finds him takes him to someone who has a reader. What good would a microchip be in a human? A human can tell you their name where a dog cannot. Is the whole issue just a microchip prevents someone from lying about their identity?

And, how does this aid in human trafficking?

Actually, I could see the utility in microchipping some people, especially elderly people with dementia and most especially those who are in assisted living settings rather than a long-term home.

I know from personal experience that some Alzheimer’s patients get confused easily, especially in new-to-them surroundings, and can wander off in search of their home. Some may not be able to provide their name if found wandering.

Or, sadly, found deceased without other identification on them.

I predicted this as a soon-to-be-realized Orwellian scheme:

Implant a chip into a newborn’s skull - ostensibly to encode name and SSN.

From there, the technology slowly changes.
But the Free Market has already convinced millions of people to pay money for the privilege of carrying a much more comprehensive database with themselves 7/24/365.25. It’s called a ‘phone’.

For the OP:

  1. is this story from a credible source? Is a name/place/date given? If not, I’d have doubts.
  2. there may well have been mental institutions which implanted an RFID chips in patients
  3. ditto prisons

Micro chip implantation is a VERY common delusion in mental patients.
I call BS on the X-ray evidence.

They put them in pets all the time, why not people? It’s not such a stretch.

On the other hand, it doesn’t do what a paranoid person would think. It’s not a listening device or GPS tracker or anything like that. It’s more like an invisible barcode you can read with a scanner.

I can’t imagine this wouldn’t cause an uproar if it were actually found to be happening in the United States, since people concerned about “mark of the beast”-type have been predicting “microchip implants” for decades. And even for people not concerned about that, it still invites comparison to Nazi Germany and their numeric tattoos.

When I last looked into (voluntary) human RFID implants, they still wanted over $1000 for it, and the rejection rate was about 40%. Of course, that was several years ago… 2013, I think… so hopefully both price and product have improved. But I would have assumed it would be a huge story if some place was actually forcibly chipping people.

ETA: Atamasama, thanks for that link (although here is a fixed link, since the auto-parsing isn’t very smart with links that end in parentheses). Interestingly, it looks like a number of states, including California, have actually made it illegal to force people to have a chip implanted.

I’m not seeing any evidence of micro chips being implanted at all, much less forcibly, in mental patients or prisoners.


(Edited to add didn’t see chorpler’s post )

Ever heard of the President’s analyst ?

Heck, there has been an entire geek set that deliberately implanted themselves. The analysis is correct however. You need to be very close to a reader in order for the thing to work. The RFID chips don’t have their own power source, and are paired with a coil antenna that the reader uses to send some power into the chip. Enough power that the chip is energised long enough to bleat back.

Useful things. My catdoor has a reader in it, and can be programmed to exclude other cats, or to only allow the cats to enter or exit at certain times.

I remember one geek who had an RFID chip in his hand. It allowed him to build his own full keyless entry and start capacity in his car. Also lets you build a door lock that simply opens when you turn it, but is otherwise locked to anyone else.

You can build more remote readers. Cattle yards use them, and they are able to read cattle tags as the cattle go though races. So maybe up to a metre away. You could imagine adding such a reader to security gates and reading IDs of people. But after that, you are not going to do all that well.

It is feasible to create an RFID tag that has an encrypted unique ID and that has enough compute power that is can perform a cryptographically secure transaction with the reader to convey the unique code. That would make for an unforgeable, unclonable, ID. Uses for that implanted in people are obvious, and chilling.

Not what the OP is inquiring about, but the idea of implanting/injecting RFIDs into humans for commercial purposes is almost ancient:

Do a search for ‘people get chipped’ and you get loads of news stories, many of then not exactly mainstream, but many are.

[quote=“usedtobe, post:3, topic:747799”]

I predicted this as a soon-to-be-realized Orwellian scheme.

I’m more of a “Logan’s Run” conspiracist. See you at “CAROUSEL.”

  1. Well, it was on a public radio station; a college radio station, not the local PBS affiliate. I’m not sure if it was an NPR story or not (some of the station’s content is, well, interesting to say the least). I was driving, so I didn’t hear the start of the show and had other issues to pay attention to, but I do recall them mentioning the lady’s name, the name of the mental institution (in California, if that is important), and when this took place. All that I can recall is that it was in California.

2 & 3) This was not reported to have been implanted by either a mental institution or prison. It was supposed to have been implanted by a human trafficking organized crime ring. The piece was not about microchip implantation in humans, but on some aspects of human trafficking. They went on to suggest that a large percentage of the people in mental institutions (maybe 40-60%?) had been involved in human trafficking.

Personally, I am against human trafficking.

I just wonder why some people (a large number, not all of whom have functional issues due to mental problems) think that a microchip would allow “them” to track where people go. All it really does is allow someone with a reader to be able to identify them if they are incapable (or unwilling) to identify themselves. As you said, the cell phone does that, much better.

What kind of range might be possible with a powered chip in a human? How inconvenient would it be? I recall watching a documentary long ago which mentioned that brigadier general Dozier had refused being implanted with a chip that might have helped locate him when he was kidnapped by the Red Brigades.

I heard the same story on my local NPR affiliate.

It was not just x-ray evidence, they surgically removed the chip. The doctor involved took the chip home to his wife, who was a vet or vet tech, who identified it as identical to an animal chip they would implant.

I also wonder about the utility of this, it’s not a GPS chip. Unless the traffickers just told them it was as a means of psychological control.

AH HA! I knew I had heard it.
Do you know the name of the program? I have been searching on-line and have been unable to find any mention of it (as you would expect, since “they” are trying to cover it up :wink: )

I heard the same story on NPR, but can’t find it either. I agree that the chip was inserted as a means of psychological control over a woman who I believe was being forced into prostitution.

Did they scan the chip to determine which vet to return her to?

I would imagine that it would make it harder for the trafficked to run away. The gang that does the trafficking could have some kind of monitor set up at bus stations to scan for chips.
It could also be away for a large gang to make sure all of the prostitutes working in an area are working for the gang.

No, these chips don’t work at long ranges. The scanners for them are expected to be within inches to feet – not yards and kilometers. They are not GPS chips, they are simply RFID tags, like the things that are used in stores to set off the alarm when you walk out the front door without purchasing something.