[The California] state Senate passed legislation Thursday that would bar employers from requiring workers to have identification devices implanted under their skin.Naturally, Republicans opposed it.
State Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) proposed the measure after at least one company began marketing radio frequency identification devices for use in humans.
The devices, as small as a grain of rice, can be used by employers to identify workers. A scanner passing over a body part implanted with one can instantly identify the person.
"RFID is a minor miracle, with all sorts of good uses," Simitian said. "But we shouldn't condone forced 'tagging' of humans. It's the ultimate invasion of privacy." …
The bill has been approved by the state Assembly and now goes to the governor. …
One company, VeriChip, has been licensed by the Food and Drug Administration to sell implanted identification devices, and about 2,000 people have had them implanted, Simitian said. A representative of the firm did not return calls seeking comment Thursday.
CityWatcher.com, a Cincinnati video surveillance company, has required employees who work in its secure data center to have a microchip implanted in an arm.
Nine senators opposed the measure, including Bob Margett (R-Arcadia), who said it is premature to legislate technology that has not yet proved to be a problem. "It sounded like it was a solution looking for a problem," Margett said. "It didn't seem like it was necessary.I wonder if he would think it was a problem if we required everyone who ran for office as a Republican to be implanted.
Amazingly enough this bill has been in the works since 2005. I don't know its history or why it didn't pass earlier.
What seems even stranger is that I can't find any official information that describes the bill as preventing employers from requiring implants. The only thing I can find is a bill that limits how government issued IDs may be used. See http://info.sen.ca.gov/cgi-bin/postquery?bill_number=sb_30&sess=CUR&house=B&site=sen