About 50 employees at Three Square Market have agreed to the
optional implant of the chips, which are the approximate size
and shape of a grain of rice, said Tony Danna, vice president of
international sales at the River Falls-based company.
The company, which employs 85, said it was the first in the
United States to offer staff the technology which is similar to
that used by contactless credit cards and chips used to identify
The implants made by Sweden's BioHax International are part of a
long-term test aimed to see if the radio-frequency
identification chips could have broader commercial applications,
"We've done the research and we're pretty well educated about
this," Danna said in an interview.
The company is holding an Aug. 1 "chip party" where employees
will have the device inserted between their forefinger and thumb
using a syringe-like instrument.
The RFID chips use electromagnetic fields to communicate and can
be read at a distance of no more than 6 inches (15 cm), Danna
Critics of using chips in humans include Nevada State Senator
Becky Harris, who in February introduced legislation that would
make forced installation of microchips illegal.
"It is possible to hack the information that is contained within
the chips," Harris told a state Senate Judiciary Committee
meeting at the time.
The company's CEO Todd Westby in a statement predicted the
technology could become popular among companies.
"Eventually, this technology will become standardized allowing
you to use this as your passport, public transit, all purchasing
opportunities, etc.," he said.
(Reporting by Taylor Harris in New York; Editing by Andrew Hay)
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