There's a crowd of folks who are extremely anti-RFID chips. They often raise important privacy issues, but they tend to go a bit overboard in their stance in that they rarely offer any kind of solution to RFID chips other than to ban them all completely. That's the wrong approach, since RFIDs can have real value, and many of the downsides can be solved with technology. However, if there's one company in the space that seems worth being extra skeptical about, it's Applied Digital, the makers of the VeriChip -- an implantable RFID chip. We've written about their history before. They repeatedly lied about FDA approval of the device, had trouble filing tax returns and even (my favorite) tried to sue a company they owed money to after missing a payment. So, it seems reasonable to be extra cautious about what the company says. We were quite surprised, in fact, to hear earlier this year that former Health & Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson agreed, not only to be on their board, but also to get chipped himself. Turns out, though, that he might not have really meant it. It's been some time, and Secretary Thompson hasn't convinced himself to go through with the implant -- as he's apparently become a bit concerned about the whole thing. The company alternatively claims he's "too busy" to get chipped or that he "wants to see it [the VeriChip] in a real-world environment first." You mean he didn't check it out before agreeing to be on the board and to get one himself? Apparently, this story is getting a bit more attention now that the company is going to go public -- despite having a grand total of 60 people who have agreed to become chipped.
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