Technology has become an integral part of life in most countries. Not only does technology improve communication, but it also improves efficiency significantly. Although different periods have seen the discovery and usage of different technologies, and varying trends, each technological discovery seems to add value to human life. One such technology, is tracking technology, which is increasingly becoming popular in the United States. Tracking technology refers to location of items, data and inventory. There are several systems that tend to support this system, the most common are geographic information mostly used for location tracking and capturing geographic information. The second system is the Global positioning system which has been used for many years to locate satellites and deduce trilateral data. The third system in the nearly developed Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), the system assists in locating movement on objects. For a while, the system was used to locate movement of customer goods, vehicles and cattle using radio waves. RFID uses passive transmit of data which only transmits when prompted. Currently research has shown that RFID can also be used to improve human based activities and as a result the introduction of microchip implant has been introduced. The microchip has been introduced in the United States and is implanted on the body of the human being. The tracking technology (RFID) is embedded in the bodies of more than 50 present of Americans.
The tracking technology using RFID systems that requires microchip embedding on human bodies has been in use in the United States since 2002 when the Vership Corporation which began the idea received the approval from Food and Drug Administration of the United States. However, embedding did not begin until 2004 when the Verimed concerned that the chip could not cause any serious medical condition such as cancer. In the year 2012 the Senate Bill 362 allowed that the Georgia Composite Medical board to supervise the embedding of 16 microchips to United States citizens (Graafstra 2004).
Uses of the Tracking technology
The tracking technology using the Radio Frequency Identification Technology involves encasing a silicate glass on the arm or forehead of the human body. The chip is linked to information on the human personal identification, medical history and contact information. The chip provides a perfect relationship between physical issues in real world and digital world essential in the advancement of technological world. The microchip is currently used in the United States to provide permanent identification which is essential in trade and recovery of lost items. Ensuring that personal information is available easily issues such as missing persons cases and hospital mix-ups will be reduced significantly. The microchip is also commonly used in providing medical history, by ensuring the chip is linked to historic personal information even on issues such as medical history, health provision will be improved. Issues such as hospital briefs in cases of patient hospital transfers and delays in health care due to hospital file search will be eliminated. Further, the microchip is also used in financial sector by linking it to personal bank accounts. The chip is currently embraced in the health care sector in the United States but since it allows huge data linkage it can still be used to make purchases and pay for services after linking it to bank accounts. By providing financial access easily, previous technologies such as credit cards will be less popular. However, even though there are several positive uses of the new tracking technology using the RFID micro chip several limitation on the same have raised great concerns.
Impact and Potential Impact
The use of tracking technology has had a significant impact in a number of sectors in the United States. Some of these impacts have come about as a result of the direct benefits that the technologies offer, while others have come about as indirect benefits that have come about as a result of the improved efficiency the technology offers. One of the main areas where the tracking technology has the potential to greatly impact is that of security. The adoption of tracking technology has greatly improved security, as each individual has a unique number that they cannot change. Further, it has also made the personal information readily available, to the extent that accessing personal information regarding any individual is quite easy. This has the potential to significantly reduce cases of identity theft, while at the same time reducing the possibilities and opportunities an individual has of adopting false identities. The impact of the chips on security is significant, as it ensures tracking the movement of individuals is much easier, an effect that is no doubt bound to improve security. RFID technology has made the identification of missing persons quite easy, eliminating the chances of misidentification.
The impact that the chips have had, and will continue to have on the health sector is the most significant. By allowing instant access to an individual’s medical history, as provided for by the health care bill, provision of subsequent care will not only be easier, but also much cheaper. In cases where there is need for emergency treatment, the available medical histories, as well as the available information on allergies, are potentially life saving, as they provide paramedics with baseline information to go on. Furthermore, such information saves time and monetary resources that could have potentially been carried out to ascertain such information in cases where previous medical history is not readily forthcoming (Eng n.p).
Due to the relative newness of RFID and other tracking technology, the potential usages are widespread and it opens up numerous possibilities. Particularly within the financial sector, tracking technology has and might continue to have a significant impact. For instance, RFID technology will potentially allow individuals to have direct access to their finances following a simple wave of the hand, thereby eliminating the need to carry wallets and ATM cards around. Other areas where RFID technology can be used to significant effect are the transport and security industry, more so in dealing with terrorism. In future, identification scanners and machines can be installed ensuring that identity verification is carried out based on the implanted chips. These identification machines and systems can then be connected to security databases to help scan for any suspected terrorists hence restricting their ability to travel using public transport.
All in all, tracking technology has had, and will no doubt continue to have significant effects on the American population. The potential provided by this new technology is immense more so if there is a widespread adoption of the new technology, such that services are able to be provided across the board. RFID technology is likely to further improve security, financial services, and the provision of health services. The adoption of the universal health care bill certainly raises interesting questions over the effect that the increased adoption of RFID technology is likely to have on the country and the American population in general, although the positive impact it is likely to have is unquestionable.
Eng, Paul. Implant Chip, Track People. 2013. Web. http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=98077&page=1
Graafstra, Amal RFID Toys: 11 Cool Projects for Home, Office and Entertainment (4th ed.). New York City, New York: (ExtremeTech) Ziff Davis Publishing Holdings. 2004
Haag, Stephen and McCubbrey, Donald . Management Information Systems for the Information Age (4th ed.). New York City, New York: McGraw-Hill.2004