Rumors of planned human microchipping programs have been around for years, with NBC News reporting on the possibility, or perhaps even the likelihood, of it happening six years ago.
Now, a new bill that some are calling a Pandora’s Box of privacy invasion has been passed in the U.S. House of Representatives by an overwhelming count.
Also known as Kevin and Avonte’s Law, the bill would allow and make way for grants for local law enforcement to establish and operate “locative tracking technology programs.” If you think that sounds like a slippery slope for cops and technology itself to go down, you’re not alone: many people are concerned with the potential for misuse this bill (and these technologies) may provide going forward.
Autistic, Alzheimer’s Sufferers May Be First In Line
With so much money invested in such “locative tracking technology programs,” which may include microchipping and similar technologies, it’s easy to see why companies are constantly finding new ways to justify their existence.
In this case, the bill would reportedly use the technology in various cases to find “individuals with forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, or children with developmental disabilities, such as autism, who have wandered from safe environments.”
As for oversight, that is yet-to-be-determined. But The Daily Caller did state that the bill would require the attorney general to “consult with the secretary of health and human services and other health organizations to come up with best practices for the tracking devices.”
Those who supported the bill believe that the technology could help prevent tragedies involving lost family members, but others worry about the broader implications of such a bill supporting invasive technologies. Already microchips are being used on pets and in rare cases can cause serious harm.
The concern about microchips for people with disabilities are not only the immediate ethical questions and concerns that come with “tracking” and inserting foreign matter into another human being, but also the possibilities that could arise down the line when human beings are given so much control over someone else’s privacy.
“While this initiative may have noble intentions, ‘small and temporary’ programs in the name of safety and security often evolve into permanent and enlarged bureaucracies that infringe on the American people’s freedoms. That is exactly what we have here. A safety problem exists for people with Alzheimer’s, autism and other mental health issues, so the fix, we are told, is to have the Department of Justice, start a tracking program so we can use some device or method to track these individuals 24/7,” said Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, who wonders if the bill could be interpreted in many different ways, with unknown consequences.
There is also the question as to who may fall under the definitions for disabilities included in the bill. Oftentimes, such programs take years to be implemented as those in power chip away at the public’s reservations and concerns over such changes.
“It is absolutely staggering that the Republican majorities in the House and Senate could be so blind to government overreach that they would allow a federal tracking program, not for criminals in the U.S., not for terrorists, not for illegal immigrants or even immigrants who commit crimes, but for people with ‘developmental disabilities’ a term that is subject to wide misinterpretation,” Gohmert said.