Concern is growing that UK firms are considering implanting microchips into their employees to boost security. Biohax, a Swedish company that provides human chip implants, told the Daily Telegraph it was ‘in talks’ with a number of UK legal and financial firms to implant staff with the devices. Apparently, one client has ‘hundreds of thousands of employees’ and probably believes that injecting chips into their workers is easier than issuing them with a security pass. ‘These companies have sensitive documents they are dealing with,” Jowan Österlund, the founder of Biohax, told the paper.
‘[The chips] would allow them to set restrictions for whoever,’ Österlund, a former professional body piercer, said. Naturally, not everyone is on board with this idea. A spokesperson for the Confederation of British Industry told the Guardian: ‘While technology is changing the way we work, this makes for distinctly uncomfortable reading. ‘Firms should be concentrating on rather more immediate priorities and focusing on engaging their employees.’ Biohax says that its microchips, which are about the size of a grain of rice, cost £150 each.
They are put into the skin between the thumb and forefinger and can be used like any kind of transmitter – to open doors or start a car, for example. They can also be loaded with medical data that can be accessed if the person was ever in an accident. Österlund said bigger companies, like those with over 200,000 employees, could offer this as something optional to make their employees’ lives easier and save the company money. ‘If you have a 15% uptake that is still a huge number of people that won’t require a physical ID pass,’ he said.