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VeriChip-Implanted People (VIPs): Walking Internet Cookies

I've often heard the claim that the "price" of privacy, i.e., how much people want in return for revealing private information, is a 10% discount. However, it's hard to put a price on convenience. New Scientist reports that some people are willing to have RFID chips implanted subcutaneously as part of becoming a VIP member of the Baja Beach Club in Barcelona. The implanted VeriChips are about the size of a grain of rice and are detectable from a range of up to 10 cm. VIP club members can elect to have either a regular card or the implantable chip; either can be used in-house -- indeed, for VeriChip-implanted VIP members, in-body -- debit cards. The only benefit offered by the implanted chips is the convenience of not having to carry a regular VIP club card, which may thereby eliminate the need to carry a wallet. Remarkably, 9 people have reportedly signed up for the implanted chip option during the first two months. I particularly like the quote attributed to Ian Brown, director of the UK-based Foundation for Information Policy Research, describing such people as "walking Internet cookies." CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion And Numbering), an organization that opposes the use of RFID tags in supermarkets and other retail establishments, is noticeably silent on this development.

(via SmartMobs)

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