It seems like such a good idea. What pet lover could protest having a way to ensure that Fido or Fluffy gets home if he/she wanders away? And some cities are even doing it for free: implanting microchips in wayward dogs so they can be identified more easily.
But if it turns out to be a perfect way to keep up with animals, why not extend it to children – especially given the environment in which parents live today, ever fearful that their kids may be snatched by some pedophile or psycho killer?
Hey, it’s already happened. Way back in 2002, this story appeared on CNN about parents in the UK asking to have microchips implanted in their kids after two ten year old girls were abducted and murdered. And the next year, Wired reported that a Mexican company began offering the "anti-kidnapping" implants as a way for parents to track down missing kids.
And if it catches on for kids, well, wouldn’t this also be the perfect solution to the problem of making sure that grandma, with her early Alzheimer’s, doesn’t get lost when she takes her daily walk?
And certainly we wouldn’t be opposed to implanting chips in, say, sex offenders who’ve served their sentences as a condition of their release. This would provide a quick, easy way to give school personnel or law enforcement authorities a "heads up" if someone suspicious is hanging around the playground.
And for that matter, any of us could be kidnapped or lost. This leads to the natural conclusion: microchips for everybody. Of course, since it’s a "public safety" issue, it would eventually be mandatory. In fact, the easy solution would be to have doctors implant the chips in the hospital as soon as a baby’s born.
Just think of the advantages. You could put a person’s health information on the chip, so that if he/she were in an accident and unconscious, emergency room workers have the medical history right there. And of course you’d have identity information such as social security numbers, citizenship status, and so forth on the chip. No more ID theft, right? The possibilities are endless …
… especially for a dictator or tyrant. Think that will never happen in this country? I hope you’re right. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and a "chipped populace" gives those high in government an awful lot of power. But like it or not, that seems to be where we’re headed.
But in the meantime, our pets will be safer.