Debate: As businesses start to implant their employees with microchips, should this be allowed?

(FILES) This 10 May 2002 file photo show
There is no basis for allowing Big Brother to treat individuals as just another commodity (Source: Getty)

Debate: As businesses start to implant their employees with microchips, should this be allowed?


Yes – Richard Skellett is a future of work expert and digital anthropologist.

From smartphones to the media hubs we have at home, microchips are already collecting data on us which is uncontrollable. Surely, then, it makes sense to have your own personal microchip which you control?

Microchipping will be the future of work, provided that human jobs are not displaced by automation. Companies tend to treat people as costs and liabilities, but microchipping could be the answer to ensuring that employees are treated as assets, while helping them earn more for themselves.

The chip would have metrics on your performance, improvements tips, and even a record of your behavioural traits, such as how you work and communicate.


It could also vastly improve security, ensuring that only authorised people can access sensitive data, which is crucial in this GDPR world.

As we strive for a four-day week, microchipping could increase outputs and provide the accountability employees need to gain the freedom they want.

No – David Israel is a partner in the employment team at law firm Royds Withy King.

The idea of a chip being placed under our skin, monitoring what we are doing and where we are doing it, attacks the very core of a free society.

Under whatever guise, there is no basis for allowing Big Brother to treat individuals as just another commodity.

We are all entitled to privacy and to a separation between work and our private lives – “chipping” us will mean the fundamental erosion of those rights.

While businesses may seek to assure us that all the data collected will be held securely and will not be used for any nefarious purposes, such claims are simply incorrect.

Companies are hacked and data breaches occur on a daily basis. Were that to happen with such sensitive information collected via personal microchips, the consequences would be horrendous.

There is no upside, to this, only downsides. There is simply no credible reason why it is necessary – other than for the benefit of Big Brother.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.



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