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Survey on Chip implants in Germany

According to a survey carried out by German IT industry lobby group BITKOM, 23% out of 1000 German respondents would accept to have a microchip implanted in their body if that would bring concrete benefits from it.

The survey was meant to show the increase of the division between real life and the virtual world, as one of the themes of the CeBIT technology fair having taken place in Hanover between 2 and 6 March 2010.

However, the study findings are debatable as the respondent sample was not only small but also taken from a special pool (CeBIT visitors who are probably IT inclined anyway). And one must not overlook the fact that 77% of the study respondents were, in fact, against the respective technology. In fact 72% stated they wouldn’t “under any circumstances” allow electronics in their body.

About 16% of the respondents said they would wear an implanted chip in order to be saved faster by emergency services in case of a fire or accident and 5% would be willing to have an implant to make their shopping easier.

“This is of course an extreme example of how far people can imagine networks going,” said BITKOM chief Professor August-Wilhelm Scheer during CeBIT who added that implanting chips into humans was going to become commonplace. “Some developments can already be seen. CDs and DVDs are going to disappear as material sources of information. Wallpaper will be replaced by flat screens and many of us will have chips implanted beneath our skin by the end of next decade.”

The professor did not say anything about the privacy and security concerns related to the issue. Almost all implantable microchips already in use (as those for medical purposes) are not encrypted and therefore vulnerable to third-party scanning. Implanted microchips would be in the same situation as the microchip passports which have been proven unreliable and easily scanable by a possible hacker.

Source: EDRI-gram „Survey on Chip implants in Germany“ Number 8.5, March 10, 2010

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