Microchipping Employees and Potential Workplace Surveillance


British companies are planning to implant staff with microchips to improve security. Sputnik spoke about it to Katina Michael, professor of the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences at the University of Wollongong.

Sputnik: Could companies sell employees' personal data to third parties?

Katina Michael: The first thing to know is that before an employer considers selling implant discrete data to a third party, they would likely use it to monitor their staff. For example, for physical access control, the way staff congregate to exchange ideas, how often they use the restroom, how fast they may be finishing and completing some tasks. It is not to say that that would occur, but quite possibly it would be used as a timestamp device. In comparison, today we commonly find facial recognition or fingerprint recognition allows employees to log their time at work.

But a company now can use this technology to introspectively look at what employees are doing. I mean, we can consider employers today gathering data on their employees by using smartphones: I know a lot of companies sign off an agreement when they do offer their employees a company-sponsored smartphone, identifying that they may well log their locations and time based on the company smartphone. Otherwise, I don't believe that a corporation would sell that information.

Sputnik: But if companies were to sell personal data to third parties, what could employees do to prevent that from happening?

Katina Michael: Employees would not be able to block the distribution of data gathered from their implantable devices, unless they've signed some legal agreement not allowing consent to occur or through local workplace surveillance laws. And so they can block the corporation from sharing that information with other companies, such as health insurance providers.

Sputnik: Could employers know if staff contacted a competitor about a job?

Katina Michael: You have to consider that the diffusion of the implants is only a couple hundred people, for example, in the UK, and many of them are not in the employment context. In one case there was an implant device granted to someone with a systematic technology need, an amputee; and when we look at these more widely in the world we could say that probably a few thousand people at most, who are hobbyists to get an implant because they are infused by technology and progress, and being able to automate certain aspects of their life.

I don't believe that, for the time being, information would be provided when one implantee meets another implantee, because of the limitations of the mutual communication and the radio frequency identification being used in that technology. These technologies don't act like smartphones; for the time being the devices are proximity devices that require you to be no more than ten centimeters away from a reader.

Citation: Katina Michael and Laurie Timmers, 2018, “Businesses to Microchip Employees 'to Monitor' Staff”, Sputnik International News, https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201811121069747561-business-microchip--monitor-staff/

Spectrum in Motion: RadComms 2017

comms-towers-sunset jpg-1.jpg

From network revolutions to micro-chipping humans and uberveillance—set against a backdrop of rapidly approaching 5G networks—RadComms 2017 aims to challenge and inform spectrum planning and reform for the benefit of all Australians.

With a theme of Spectrum reform—empowering users, this year’s event, which runs 1– 2 November in Sydney, features decision-makers and thought-leaders from government and industry to provide an opportunity to find out about—and influence—spectrum reform in Australia.

Minister for Communications, Senator the Hon. Mitch Fifield, will deliver the opening address, while Nerida O’Loughlin, Chair of the Australian Communications and Media Authority, will make her inaugural address to RadComms. Keynote speeches will be made by ACCC Chairman Rod Sims and Professor Katina Michael, Editor in Chief of the IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, who will speak about our headlong progress towards an ‘internet of us’.

Senior ACMA representatives will be joined by experts from Telstra, Ericsson, SES Satellites, Vertel, NNN Co, Myriota, Qualcomm, RTT, RMIT and GoGo, as well as industry groups Communications Alliance, Free TV Australia, AMTA and ARCIA.

Key sessions delivered over the two-day conference include:

• spectrum reform—perspectives from industry about spectrum reform and workshops on three important areas of spectrum reform – radiocommunications licensing, equipment rules and interference management

• network (r)evolutions—evolution and revolution in terrestrial, mobile and satellite networks

• building the industrial internet— How IoT and 5G are enabling a fourth – and global – industrial revolution

• future ACMA activities—our work program, planning issues and spectrum auctions

• emerging standards and new applications—5G, mmWave, satellites and 3GPP processes.

Read more at: https://www.radioinfo.com.au/news/spectrum-motion-radcomms-2017 © Radioinfo.com.au


Emerging Technologies: In The Loop Gong

We sat down with bright mind professor Katina Michael to talk about her research into emerging technologies like wearable tech, nanotechnology, and biohacking.

Meow Meow with his implantable Opal Card using NSW Rail Reader

Meow Meow with his implantable Opal Card using NSW Rail Reader

Biohacking - In the Loop

Love our local "In the Loop" program which is going from strength to strength. What a great place Wollongong is!

Published on 29 Aug 2017

This month Lachy meets some comedians and vampires at the Anywhere Theatre Festival. Greg Ellis chats with Illawarra Steelers legend Brett Rodwell. Marty has a go at beach fishing with Guided Beach Fishing Illawarra. Katina Michael teaches us about implantables and other emerging technologies. Our Innovative Business is Wollongong born start-up Binary Beer & Christie takes Crammy & Brittany from i98FM on a winery tour thanks to Foodscape tours.

In This Months Episode

Adventure and Play - http://guidedbeachfishing.com.au/
Eat & Drink - Foodscape Tours - http://foodscapetours.com.au/
Berry Chocolatier - https://www.facebook.com/berrychocola...
Silos Estate - http://silosestate.com/
Camberwarra Estate - http://www.cambewarraestate.com.au/
Coolangatta Estate - http://www.coolangattaestate.com.au/
Two Figs Winery - http://twofigs.com.au/
Binary Beer - http://www.binarybeer.io/
Anywhere Theatre Festival - http://anywheretheatre.com/

You can stay in the loop with us on:
Our Website - http://intheloop.tv
Facebook: https://facebook.com/intheloopgong
Twitter: https://twitter.com/intheloopgong
Instagram: https://instagram.com/intheloopgong

Media partners:
i98fm - http://i98fm.com.au

Segment sponsors:
Wollongong Central - http://www.wollongongcentral.com.au
University of Wollongong - http://www.uow.edu.au
Access Law Group - http://www.accesslawgroup.com.au
The Illawarra Mercury - http://www.illawarramercury.com.au
Advantage Wollongong - http://www.advantagewollongong.com.au
Destination Wollongong - http://visitwollongong.com.au
Internetrix - http://www.internetrix.com.au
Relativity Films - http://relativity.com.au
Lancaster Law & Mediation - http://lancasterlaw.com.au
Kaizen Business & Financial - http://www.kaizenbf.com.au

Promotional Partners:
Illawarra Hawks - http://www.hawks.com.au
Digital Print Bureau - http://digitalprintbureau.com.au
Illawarra Women In Business - http://www.iwib.com.au
Novotel Northbeach - http://novotelnorthbeach.com.au
Dee Kramer Photography - http://www.deekramer.com
St George Illawarra Dragons - http://www.dragons.com.au


Human Microchips: Employers Going Too Far


Human microchip implants have been around for awhile, used by home automation enthusiasts and biohacking movements. But Swedish company Epicenter is taking the technology to a whole new context as a workplace monitoring tool.

The microchips have been implanted into 150 employees and will enable them to open doors, use photocopiers and make purchases from the company cafe. However, privacy is a concern for many people.

Professor Katina Michael joined Nic to discuss the importance of personal choice in using implantables and the problems that may arise when companies and governments use the technology for potentially nefarious purposes.

Citation: Katina Michael with Nick Healy, "Human Microchips: Employees Go Far", 2SERFM Breakfast, May 5, 2017, 6.45-6.50am, http://2ser.com/human-microchips-employers-going-far/, Producers: Jennifer Luu.

Big Brother la purtător. Microcipurile RFID. N-aţi mai auzit de ele, dar nu înseamnă că au dispărut

This article is written in Romanian. An English translation using Google Translate is below.

Ştiinţa versus etică şi noi valenţe ale controlului social.
Văzută drept o inevitabilitate de către unii oameni de ştiinţă, ideea implanturilor stârneşte îngrijorări printre specialişti.
"Microcipurile RFID sunt, în esenţă, un generator al unui ID unic încorporat în corpul vostru. Aşa cum ştim, numerele pot fi furate şi datele pot fi accesate de hackeri." atrage atenţia Dr Katina Michael, profesor la University of Wollongong, specializată în implicaţiile socio-etice ale tehnologiilor emergente.
Nu este normal, arată specialista, ca problemele care afectează bazele de date şi computerele, precum atacurile hackerilor, să fie interconectate cu corpul uman. Mai mult, ne îndreptăm spre o societate de tip Big Brother în care se doreşte ca oamenii să poarte instrumentul prin care sunt spionaţi chiar în trupurile lor. "Guvernele şi marile corporaţii vor avea posibilitatea să urmărească acţiunile şi mişcările oamenilor, şi să îi încadreze în diferite categorii socio-economice, politice, rasiale, religioase sau grupuri de consum, pentru ca în final să ajungă să-i controleze.", mai avertizează Dr. Michael.
Dr. Michael este în special îngrijorată că oamenii vor fi forţaţi sau constrânşi să aibă un implant, lucru care, de altfel, explică ea, s-a şi întâmplat. "Această perspectivă este atât de îngrijorătoare încât cel puţin nouă state americane au interzis implanturile de microcipuri." a explicat ea.

More here

In English:

Big Brother to the bearer. RFID Microchips. You have not heard of them, but they do not mean they disappeared

RFID Chip.
Thousands of people are happy to swim under their skin, hit by happiness: now they can unlock their homes and cars, they can start their computers or mobile phones with only one hand move. They are not superhuman, but passionate about technology, who injected their own microchips into the body, according to a Sydney Herald article.

Named Biohackers, they use the so-called RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips as the latest technology hurtle that allows them to overcome the "human condition" that presses the lever to open a door and the button to opens a computer. Of the size of a rice grain, the RFID chips can be implanted very easily under the skin with a hypodermic needle.

Once inserted under the skin and activated, the implants send a unique ID (ID) that can be used to activate devices such as mobile phones and locks. The same type of chip is implanted and pets to be easily found if they are lost.

However, biohakers willingly choose to implant their chips, not for fear of losing, but because it is cool and everything seems to be easier. Note, however, that chips do not only send data to the devices we control, but also to huge databases of RFID user information such as personal data, addresses, medical data history, etc. databases controlled by governments, corporations, and which, experience proves, can be broken by hackers anytime.

Some methods of securing the data stored on the chip exist, but they are neither safe nor easy to implement.

RFID Chips

RFID chips are almost everywhere, on credit cards, and newer passports. Some RFIDs are provided with micro-batteries or other power supplies that enable them to operate hundreds of meters away so they do not need to be connected to a reader. This type of microchips can not be made small enough to be embedded in humans.

But others are. Embedded microchips in humans are wrapped in an organic coating that makes them easy to accept by the body, however, and very difficult to extract, once integrated into human tissue.

Everything comes with a price

And if life becomes apparently easier, the remote controls, mobile phones can be replaced with a certain microchip, it should be noted that state-of-the-art technology comes with a price. Cyber pecialist Mark Gasson, from the University of Reading, UK, became the first person to be infected with a computer virus after he injected himself a chip in 2009 to control the electronic devices in his office. The virus replicated on the building access cards used by university staff and infected the institution's database. Despite the "little inconvenience," Gasson and other scientists say the future belongs to the "computerized" population, making this scenario imminent.

The implants will change the world, they think, "They will change the very essence of what it means to be human," says Gasson. "People can no longer interact with society nowadays if they do not have a cell phone We believe that human implants will have a similar path It will be so disadvantageous not to have such an implant that it is essential to be obligatory! says Gasson.

Human communication versus electronic communication from the nervous system to the nervous system

And if humanity values he conscious communication through which people choose from the notion of thoughts to communicate and to whom, science approaches, by microcipation, a completely different kind of approach. Kevin Warwick, a professor of cybernetics at Reading University, implanted into his body an electronic device that interacts with his nervous system, a simpler version of that device being implanted into his wife's arm. The two could receive rudimentary signals from one to the other, proving that between two nerve systems it is possible to make purely electronic communication.

By going over the key question - if we want our thoughts to be known to wives, and vice versa - it should be noted that this kind of communication is, however, appropriate from robot to robot, even science proves it. Warwick's chip allows him to send orders via a computer to an artificial hand on another continent. The robot hand imitates any move made by Warwik's hand with the chip, whereas the connection that the scientist has established with his wife's nervous system is rudimentary, he perceiving only that she moves her hand, not what moves do with her.

Science versus ethics and new valences of social control.

Seen as an inevitability by some scientists, the idea of mplants raises concerns among specialists.

"RFID Microchips are basically a generator of a unique ID embedded in your body. As we know, numbers can be stolen and data can be accessed by hackers." draws attention to Dr Katina Michael, a professor at the University of Wollongong, specializing in the socio-ethical implications of emerging technologies.

It is not normal, the specialist shows, that issues affecting databases and computers, such as hacker attacks, should be interconnected with the human body. Moreover, we are heading towards a Big Brother society where people want to carry the instrument by which they are spied in their bodies. "Governments and large corporations will be able to track people's actions and movements, and put them in different socio-economic, political, racial, religious or consumer groups so they can eventually control them." warns Dr. Michael.

Dr. Michael is particularly worried that people will be forced or forced to have an implant, which, moreover, she explains, has happened. "This view is so worrying that at least nine US states banned microchip implants." she explained.

We recall that the famous ObamaCare, the law proposed by the US president, provided that Americans be "equipped" with medical devices, class II, implantable.

By willing and unwilling of anybody?

In 2007, a company called VeriChip implanted microchips in 200 Alzheimer's patients, with implants going to "shed" data about the elderly into a database of information about their medical history. The elderly, many of them indiscriminately, were in the care of an elderly home in Florida, which benefited from sponsorship from VeriChip.

The scandal broke out enormously after it was discovered that the experiment did not benefit from the approval of the Florida authorities responsible for the safety of people who are doing experiments and research.

The same company, Verichip implanted microchips in Mexico's Prosecutor General and senior team members, microchips having the stated purpose of providing them with access to secured areas in official buildings. It is said that the next step is to put a chip into the military and the police.

Moreover, Solusat, a distributor of VeriChip, announced that it has entered into an agreement with the Mexican National Foundation for the Investigation of Disappearances and Child Abduction to promote the "chipping" of children in the country.

How the chip could help finding missing children is unclear because they do not have GPS tracking technology. And other companies are making strong publicity on microchip implants, and their researchers are working hard to integrate them with GPS technology. Companies in the field expect to have, after doing this, an "enormous sales market."

The success, which shows the opposite of the idea, is a two-edged weapon. "Do you really want someone to follow your child and always know where he is?" ask those who are aware that information becomes good or harmful according to the purposes for which they are used.

Citation: Loredana Diacu, April 20, 2014, "Big Brother la purtător. Microcipurile RFID. N-aţi mai auzit de ele, dar nu înseamnă că au dispărut", Epoch Timeshttp://epochtimes-romania.com/news/big-brother-la-purtator-microcipurile-rfid-n-ati-mai-auzit-de-ele-dar-nu-inseamna-ca-au-disparut---216182

The Technological Trajectory: From Wearables to Implantables

Key Link

Katina MichaelUniversity of Wollongong
Katherine AlbrechtCASPIAN



We've seen waves of automatic identification innovation since the 1960s. First bar codes changed the face of the supermarket checkout, then magnetic-stripe cards changed banking, smart cards made a debut for telecommunications and much more in Europe especially, then biometrics for electronic benefits schemes and other government-to-citizen transactions, and the finally contactless cards and microchip implants for the identification of bovine, swine and fish. While the selection environment of these technologies continues to increase, integration and convergence of infrastructure and various auto-ID techniques is rapidly occurring. What does this mean for citizens in every day life? Will predictive analytics be used to manipulate our purchasing behaviours or decision making capacities? This discussion addresses matters to do with free will, autonomy, the right to be left alone, and human rights and dignity. It also maintains that the more time we give over to devices that we wear, the harder it will be to loose the shackles from the technology grip. Katina calls this high-tech lust. It is a type of addiction. How do we get back our work-life balance? In the busy world of instant communications how do we leave some time for the self to develop privately through meditation and other activities that bring us not closer to technology, but closer to each other as people.

Suggested Citation: Katina Michael and Katherine Albrecht. "The Technological Trajectory: From Wearables to Implantables" Katherine Albrecht: Talk Radio with a Freedom Twist Jul. 2013.

TEDxUWollongong: The Social Implications of Microchipping People

A/Professor Katina Michael from the University of Wollongong, speaks at the 2012 TEDxUWollongong on the moral and ethical dilemmas of emerging technologies. The 3 scenarios she performs raise very interesting social implications for our humanity. http://www.tedxuwollongong.com  

Speaker playlist here

Photostream available here