A year ago, this blogger posted an item exploring the ‘new’ practice of implanting microchips into employees for purposes of tracking and monitoring.
Since that time, I have shown the clip to a number of under-graduate and post-graduate students in both Human Resources Planning and Human Resources Analytics classes.
The response from these student has been unanimous. There was solid agreement that implanting microchips into employees is a really bad idea and not a single person would volunteer to have it done to themselves. When we looked at this possible practice from the perspective of a Human Resources professional, the responses were not as vehement. Some students could see the possible benefits of microchip technology implanted into employees for certain sectors, but the safety risks and possible human rights issues far outweighed the possible employer-related benefits. The consensus was still in place that this practice might be suitable for someone else but definitely ‘not for me’.
With this in mind, it is interesting to see how the movement to implement microchips, known as Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, has expanded. It is a technology that is being accepted and practiced by both employers and employees as noted in a recent article published by CIOToday.com.
Far from it being perceived as an invasive and risky procedure, the article explores how microchip technology provides for positive engagement with ourselves and with others. First, it speaks to our narcissistic needs as the technology provides massive amounts of data about ourselves. It also may provide comfort to those who see the collection of personal data by someone else as a sign of belonging and caring. If someone else is watching us all the time, it must mean that we are connected to and participating with each other in a way that goes beyond regular social interactions. What could be more fun socially than being invited to participate in an employment related ‘chip’ party where the chips are not for eating but for implanting? If everybody is doing it, why not join the party?
No matter what we may think about the use of implanted microchips for employees, this is definitely a technology that will continue to evolve and will continue to provoke our individual responses well into the future.
- Do you agree that having a microchip implanted into your body would provide you with data that could help you in some way? Explain your rationale.
- What do you think about the use of individual technology that brings a feeling of connection and participation with others?
- As an employer, how could you use data from employee microchips to improve organizational performance?