'Human barcode' could invade privacy and civil liberties
New York, June 3 (ANI): The idea of a 'human barcode,' an electronic ID chip assigned to every person at birth, has raised debate among experts.
Advocates say electronic verification could help parents or caregivers keep track of children and the elderly.
But opponents say a built-in identification chip for humans could invade privacy, civil liberties.
Science fiction author Elizabeth Moon last week rekindled the debate on whether it's a good idea to "barcode" infants at birth in an interview on a BBC radio program.
"I would insist on every individual having a unique ID permanently attached - a barcode if you will - an implanted chip to provide an easy, fast inexpensive way to identify individuals," she said on The Forum, a weekly show that features "a global thinking" discussing a "radical, inspiring or controversial idea" for 60 seconds.
Moon believes the tools most commonly used for surveillance and identification - like video cameras and DNA testing - are slow, costly and often ineffective.
In her opinion, human barcoding would save a lot of time and money.
On the other hand opponents argued that giving up anonymity would cultivate an "Orwellian" society where all citizens can be tracked.
"To have a record of everywhere you go and everything you do would be a frightening thing," Stanley, senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union, told the New York Daily News.
He warned of a "check-point society" where everyone carries an internal passport and has to show their papers at every turn.
"Once we let the government and businesses go down the road of nosing around in our lives...we're going to quickly lose all our privacy," said Stanley.
Technology company BIOPTid has patented a noninvasive method of identification called the "human barcode." (ANI)
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