VeriChip is forging ahead with its plan to implant its RFID chips under the skin of U.S. soldiers, despite recent concerns over reliability and privacy.
News reports have the chip maker lobbying the Defense Department to install RFID tags in soldiers as a replacement for dog tags. That sort of replacement has certain benefits, namely that an RFID tag can hold much more information on the soldier than a dog tag can. An under-the-skin RFID tag would also be much more difficult to dislodge, unlike dog tags, which can be yanked off and kept or discarded by usurpers.
Another benefit is that an RFID tag could contain a soldier’s medical information, which could be valuable, perhaps even being the difference between life and death if the soldier is wounded in battle.
Opponents of this idea don’t want soldiers’ identities in the hands of anyone who has an RFID tag reader and also don’t want soldiers to be forced to have an RFID tag implanted under their skin.
Some dog tags already have microchips in them, so the idea wouldn’t be new. What would be new, however, is the giant implementation of this new technology: The U.S. Military currently boasts about 1.4 million members in total. That kind of embrace would be a huge endorsement for the RFID tag technology and could be the first step toward the tags’ being accepted in civilian society.