Big Brother Is Watching You

It also would offer a whole shopping cart of commercial uses.

Security, which remains high on the U.S. agenda, would also benefit from the chance of identifying and tracking anyone carrying this implant.

Prisons or nuclear plants could regulate entry to any secure locations.

Military personnel could utilize the technology, so that injured soldiers in the field could be quickly and accurately identified.

But is Big Brother already watching you? Surveillance is already in operation under many other guises.

CCTV

The average person in the United Kingdom is caught on camera 300 times a day -- that's once every four minutes -- by 4 million CCTV cameras.

That's one for every 14 people. Smart CCTV is used in train stations to identify patterns of behavior that suggest crime or potential suicide attempts.

Phone and e-mail

Every U.K. Internet service provider has to monitor the Web sites we visit, and the government has the powers, akin to the East German Stasi-style of snooping, to look into the e-mail and Internet activities of its citizens.

If that weren't enough, our phone calls are constantly filtered for key words or word patterns.

Although it smacks of former communist regimes in Eastern Europe and Franco's Spain, the reports editors -- Kristie Ball, an Open University lecturer in organization studies, and David Murakami Wood, managing director of Surveillance and Society -- deny that human microchipping will become the norm.

Wood explained to ABC:

"It is a technological possibility, rather than a governmental possibility. I don't think there's a government in the world considering this, given that countries like the U.K. and U.S. are even struggling to introduce ID cards. What is worrying though is that people will voluntarily submit to intense forms in surveillance for amusement, for a superficial benefit like gaining entry to a VIP enclosure of a nightclub. I always assumed there was a line beyond which people would go."

The full version of the report will be published to coincide with the 28th International Conference of Data Protection (http://www.privacyconference2006.co.uk/) in London today.

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