VeriChip launches consumer campaign for ID chips

The company's consumer page touts the chip as protection for aging parents, a way to link them to their health records in an emergency.

VerichipAs we expected last week, VeriChip has launched a consumer campaign on behalf of its implanted ID chips under the name HealthLink.

The company's consumer page touts the chip as protection for aging parents, a way to link them to their health records in an emergency.

A PDF linked to that page, however, is a 2006 story from the Newark Star-Ledger describing how a New Jersey cop's life was supposedly saved because the chip was in his arm after a traffic accident.

The initial test market is in the Palm Beach area. VeriChip itself is headquartered in Delray Beach, 25 miles south of Palm Beach. Some 16 hospitals are listed as taking part in the test.

Perhaps even more interesting is the participation of HearX, a hearing aid chain, in the test marketing. Getting retail participation is essential to success for VeriChip, and if this goes national expect a deal with a national pharmacy chain. 

The company is also soliciting consumers to appear in a commercial, dubbed Because, which will describe the chip as harmless and essential.

Despite all its efforts to push the VeriChip, however, the company is being dogged by critics who call it "the mark of the beast" or, as in this video, compare its efforts to IBM's work with Nazi Germany.

Other critics, like Makezine, have focused on how easy it would be to clone a VeriChip and with it steal your identity.

My view on VeriChip remains agnostic. I'm far more concerned with the cloning issue than the scare tactics. The chance of the chip wandering also has me concerned, as does the chance of infection.

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