In the past slaves were branded like cattle to enable their masters to clearly mark out their property while the Nazis tattooed prisoners in their concentration camps for similar reasons. These days most workers are forced to walk around with a large ID tag round their necks in company time. Now some employers are thinking of microchipping them to keep tabs on workers they increasingly treat as personal chattels.
Microchipping is commonly used in Britain to enable their owners identify lost cats. But this week the TUC and the Confederation of British Industry, which represents 190,000 UK businesses, have expressed concern at extending it to humans.
Apparently 150 workers have already been injected with small chips, inserted between the thumb and forefinger, produced by BioTeq, which claims to be Britain’s “leading human technology implant specialists”.
Several thousand hapless workers have already been ‘biohacked' in Sweden where the state-run railway is even considering replacing tickets with implants in the future.
TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady says workers are concerned at the way some employers are using new technology to control and micromanage their activities, all the while “whittling away” their employees’ right to privacy.
“Microchipping would give bosses even more power and control over their workers. There are obvious risks involved, and employers must not brush them aside, or pressure staff into being chipped,” she said.
That’s putting it mildly, to say the least. Microchipping workers is a disgusting, degrading practice. It may be fit for cats and cows but it’s totally unacceptable for workers.