Magazine article New Internationalist

Fish and Spy Chips

Magazine article New Internationalist

Fish and Spy Chips

Article excerpt

What do Wal-Mart stores, salmon stocks in North America, the US armed forces, Italian hospital patients, the Attorney General of Mexico and Japanese schoolchildren all have in common? They're all using special microchips which carry and transmit information via radio signals.

The technology known as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is most often used by retail stores to manage their inventory. However, it is becoming more frequently used by humans as a way to track their movements and allow or deny access to high-security areas.

Each chip carries a unique ID number and information which can be read by a special scanner. New chips are being developed to include Global Positions System (GPS) technology, which would allow anyone to be tracked anywhere in the world. Companies such as Alien Technology (seriously!) have been filling orders for hundreds of millions of units from companies such as Gillette, Procter & Gamble and Philip Morris who have begun incorporating RFID tags into their products. …

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