Two employees from CityWatcher.com, a security firm that provides cameras and Internet monitoring, have had silicon chips from VeriChip embedded into their arms for access to vaults where data and images are kept for clients. According to reports, this surveillance company is the first in the United States to use the technology in living humans.
“What we see here in Cincinnati is becoming an option that security-minded customers and business can look for,” said John Procter, spokesperson for VeriChip.
Already sectors throughout the world have implemented the technology to secure assets. In 2004, the Mexico attorney general’s organized crime unit used the RFID chips in employees to restrict access to secure areas.
For CityWatcher.com, the VeriGuard technology suite, which works like a typical proximity card with a reader outside the access point, will be used to control access to the company’s vaults.
Procter said that CityWatcher.com’s employees and the others that use the technology are “certainly not required to get the chip.” Procter said the system has an encapsulated keychain, which a person could use to get into the restricted facility, if they didn’t want the implant. The implant is an easy process, noted Procter, adding a physician embeds the chip in the forearm just under the surface of the skin. “It is very important to VeriChip that [the procedure] remains a voluntary option or technology as in the case of Cincinnati.”
Sean Darks, chief executive at CityWatcher, was unavailable before press time to comment on why the company took on the access control technology. The company has contracts with six cities to provide cameras and Internet monitoring.
When compared to the typical access control tools like proximity and smart cards, Procter said, “The chip is under the skin, you can’t lose it. It can’t be forgotten at home, and very likely it can not be taken away from you without someone being extremely motivated.”