Smart card technology has been racing forward with many new lower and dual voltage variations, deeper pools of available memory, better encryption, and more powerful embedded microcontrollers. It's a cat and mouse game. As card hackers figure out ways to glitch the existing technology, an update (which has already been designed, tested, and ready to deploy), is taken off the shelf and used. At least until hackers find ways into them. Then the next generation of shelved technology is used.
While Smart Cards have somewhat taken off in Europe and Asia, they are slowly finding their way into American consumers wallets. They have been used for several years for satellite TV receivers more or less transparently to the consumer, but, this may change.
The increase in consumer fraud, identity theft, and financial misdoings is bringing this technology to the forefront again. Already, several major banks and credit card companies are touting their versions of credit/debit cards that house all critical information to ease use by consumers.
This is a double edged sword. I don't want to carry anything that contains critical information like social security numbers, account numbers, balances, transaction histories and so on. Yes, they are secure from 99 percent of the would be evil doers, but, like an alarm system in a house, anyone who really wants to get in will find a way.
Parallel to this, we are seeing more scare tactics by media about missing and abducted children. In actuality, the numbers are going down, but you wouldn't know that by following the constant barrage of news reports that flood our air waves.
On top of that, we are being terrorized by our own controlling powers to feel that we need to be protected from all the misguided extremists who are aiming to do bad things to us and our country. The color coded terrorist alert systems, parallels many people's anxiety levels.
In use now for several years are the implantables. Pets can have small microchips (about the size of a large grain of rice) implanted 'safely' under their skin instead of tags. Special forces soldiers in several parts of the world have been using this technology instead of dog tags as well.
What's interesting is that we are at a technological point of inflection where developments in key areas are converging to bring a new level of capabilities and smoke and mirror benefits. We have heard the news of British researchers that have developed a cell phone that is implantable into a tooth. It used to be when you saw someone standing in a corner by themselves talking, you thought they were crazy. Now, they may be on the phone.
Another technology that is miniaturized and ready to deploy is GPS. Parents in England can have their kids implanted with tracking systems that key in on their exact locations. While aimed at problem children and those at risk for abduction, it is still a small number of deployments, but note the direction.
As cell phone, GPS, smartcard, and RF ID technology continues to advance, it will be the implantables that are pushed onto citizens everywhere in the world. Already, Applied Digital Solutions is marketing the 'Digital Angel' implantable chip to those scared parents who fear for their children's safety, as well as Alzheimer patients who have tendencies to wander.
Thrust onto us for security, patriotism, and convenience, embedded implantables are on their way. Step by step, we are being prepped and readied to take an implant. It's gotten pretty far. Already, companies are talking about providing users free 'airtime' if the agree to listen to commercials. Just what I need, Coca Cola singing jingles to me while I sleep.
Now, I don't have anything to hide, and I'm not involved in any destabilizing activities, but, I don't want some idiot with an 'enforcement' badge able to monitor my locations, speech, and finances. Power corrupts and creates a separation of 'us and them'. There is a more scary fear.
It has always historically been the right and obligation of those in society who see abuses and misjustices to rise up and overthrow/replace those in power. Already, anyone who carries a cell phone can be tracked. Already, many cars locations can be tracked. Already, many phones can be 'listened in on' with out the owner knowing it. Already, virtually every email, phone call, and fax are intercepted and 'sniffed' for threatening content. Our ability to collectively identify corruption and act against it is being limited by technology.
Until the human heart, sense of ethics, morals, and conscious evolve, I don't want anyone watching me. Especially when there is no one watching the watchers.