Why the chip in my dog won't work in humans.

Scott Collins collins at newton.apple.com
Wed Mar 9 10:28:01 PST 1994

>> Today I ran into a situation that made me completely nausiated and feel like
>> my privacy had been completely invaded... It involves a chip which is 
>> implanted in animals and used for identification... 

I have such a chip in my dog.


Animal services can destroy a stray animal after as little as 48 hours.  My
dog doesn't speak English, and if she loses her tags and gets lost ---
she's a stray!

Animal services scan (and you have to be pretty close, like those
door-opening-id-cards) all the animals that are picked up.  If there's a
chip, the animal WON'T BE DESTROYED.  They'll call the Infopet service, who
will in turn call me, and I'll come pick her up.  Additionally, I have
pre-authorized emergency medical attention for her.  If she needs help,
she'll get it even if they don't know where I am.

And, as others mentioned, if she is stolen then the next time she is taken
in to the vet (my vet and many others in CA scan as a matter of course) or
picked up by animal services ... I will know about it.

I love my dog.  She's a good companion; and I take good care of her.  She
has never lost her tags or `gotten loose'.  But if she ever does...

...this chip will help me recover my property.  Whoa! what happened to
loving companion?  How did we go from friend to chattel?  The truth of the
matter is that the law considers and dog _owners_ act as though dogs are
property.  They have value.  They need to be protected like any other piece
of property.  I love my dog, but that doesn't change the fact that if she
fell in love with YOU and wanted YOU to be her master and decided she no
longer loved ME ... she would still stay with me, because she's mine.

 - --- -

Is this the edge of a slippery slope for putting chips in human beings?  I
don't think so.  The reasons for having such a device in a dog are
completely different from the reasons for having them in an human being. 
In one case it is essentially to identify property (like a brand on a cow
-- we still don't brand humans), in the other it is to make a certain kind
of deception more difficult.

Marking children as though they were animals or property?  Grotesque. 
Marking adults for identification?  Hopeless.  Dogs don't even know what a
chip is, let alone that they have one implanted in them.  They won't remove
or replace it; but a human bent on such a course will.  Therefore, as
identification or proof of permission, it will be no better than the
cryptographic system beneath it.  In which case, it will be pointless to
have an implant rather than a smart card.

Scott Collins   | "That's not fair!"                         -- Sarah
                | "You say that so often.  I wonder what your basis
   408.862.0540 |  for comparison is."                 -- Goblin King
BUSINESS.    fax:974.6094    R254(IL5-2N)    collins at newton.apple.com
Apple Computer, Inc.  5 Infinite Loop, MS 305-2D  Cupertino, CA 95014
PERSONAL.    408.257.1746       1024:669687       catalyst at netcom.com

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