California Bans Mandatory ID Implants in Employees


California’s state Senate has passed a bill that bans employers from making ID chip implants a requirement for employees.

The chips, created by Delray Beach, Fla.-based VeriChip Corp., gained national attention in October 2004 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Radio Frequency ID (RFID) implants. The technology allows persons implanted with the devices to be identified and tracked by using broadcast radio identification.

The state of Wisconsin recently passed a bill that prevented employers from implanting RFID chips without the consent of employees. The California Senate has taken the bill one step further by banning employers from making implantation a job requirement.

The concept of involuntary medical implanting of the devices has raised the ire of privacy rights advocates.

Nine senators voted against the bill, including Bob Margett (R-Arcadia). Margett told the Los Angeles Times the bill was premature in regulating technology that has not yet proven to be a problem.

“It sounded like it was a solution looking for a problem. It didn’t seem like it was necessary,” Margett told the newspaper.

Last year, the Cincinnati based video surveillance firm mandated employees who worked in its secure data center to be implanted with one of VeriChip’s implants, according to the online magazine DailyTech. While the California bill will no longer allow employers to require such a procedure, the bill does not restrict employers from asking employees to volunteer for the implants.

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