- Some prominent UK companies are planning to offer optional-microchip implants for their employees, which would mostly perform the same functions as identification badges.
- Biohax, the Swedish company planning to offer its microchip services to UK businesses, didn’t say which companies are considering the move.
- The company said the microchips can make everyday tasks faster, like buying food and entering the building. The implants are also able to restrict access to certain areas.
Workers at some UK businesses may soon be able to demonstrate that they’re dedication to the job is literally skin deep.
Biohax, a Swedish microchip company, is currently discussing with several prominent UK companies the possibility of offering microchip implants to employees, The Telegraph reports.
The main benefit of the procedure seems to be convenience. The microchip implant essentially serves as an internal-employee-identification badge – the chips can be used to grant access to buildings and to pay for things around the office like food or print jobs. They can also be used to restrict access to certain off-limits areas.
Whether having electronic circuits implanted between your thumb and forefinger is your idea of a job perk or a dystopian nightmare depends on your perspective, but the Telegraph notes that the chip implants would be optional for employees.
Biohax didn’t name any of the companies that were considering the implants, but one is a financial service with hundreds of thousands of employees, Biohax told The Telegraph.
The implants are similar to the microchips commonly used with pets and are inserted into the hand between the thumb and forefinger. Biohax says the implant process only takes a few seconds. After they’re implanted, the microchips work similarly to contactless payment systems – the employee will just need to present their hand to a scanner to activate it.
Some have voiced their concerns over the practice, including UK labour unions like The Trade Unions Congress.
“We know workers are already concerned that some employers are using tech to control and micromanage, whittling away their staff’s right to privacy,” TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said to alphr.com.
Jowan Österlund, the founder of Biohax, anticipated this kind of response, but said employees shouldn’t be worried.
“If this came from a government, I’d be like yeah, you know what, no that’s not going happen,” Österlund said to The Telegraph. “We’re a private actor, we’re doing this with our community, for our community.”