HR Strange But True!
June 01, 2006

The chief executive officer of Applied Digital is touting the company's radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking chips, which are about the size of a grain of rice and are implanted under the skin, as a way to verify the identity of immigrants and guest workers.

Scott Silverman, chairman and chief executive of the company, made an appearance on the television show Fox & Friends just before the Senate approved legislation that would create a guest worker program and would give illegal immigrants a path to citizenship if they have been in the country for more than 5 years, reports, a website operated by Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering, a group that opposes RFID tracking tags.

On the program, he suggested that his company's RFID microchips might be an effective way to register immigrants and guest workers when they enter the country and then verify their identities in the workplace.

Silverman also sat down for an interview with the Association for Automatic Identification and Mobility's RFID Connections newsletter and restated that the government should consider his company's chips as part of a proposed guest worker program.

"I think it's a relevant technology that can be used amongst other technologies to properly ensure that guest workers coming in and out of this country are properly registered, and that the enforcement that's necessary to make the law work and the Guest Worker Program work can also take place at the employer level," Silverman told RFID Connections.

On Fox & Friends, Silverman said the chips are just identification devices and cannot be used like GPS to locate individuals, according to the transcript posted.

"This is not a locating device; this has no GPS capabilities in it whatsoever," he said. "It is purely an identification device that reads a unique 16-digit identifier with a proprietary scanner within a very short range. It's a passive device with no power source under the skin that ties to a database where the relevant information is stored."

Companies use RFID technology for a variety of purposes, including tracking inventory and controlling access to secure areas. Earlier this year,, an operator of security cameras in Ohio, made headlines when a doctor implanted a RFID microchip under the skin of the chief executive officer and another employee who volunteered to test the system.

Silverman says he has a chip implanted under his arm as well.

Sources: and RFID Connections

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