VeriChip is the first FDA-approved human-implantable RFID microchip. About twice the size of a grain of rice, this passive device is typically implanted above the triceps area of an individual’s right arm and can be scanned and emit a unique 16 digit identification number, which can correlate the user information stored on a backend database. The insertion process can be performed in a physician’s office and takes only a few seconds.

Primarily marketed for medical applications, the VeriChip can link patients to their password-protected medical history, important contact information and other related information in VeriChip-enabled emergency rooms during the first several minutes of care. VeryChip is not very cheap yet. Total cost of the chip and the insertion is about $200 and no insurance covers such cost currently. The company estimates that approximately 2000 people worldwide (and about 60 in USA) currently have a VeriChip.

The VeriChip RFID implant has been shown to be insecure. The ID contained in the chip is completely unencrypted, and can be read by anyone, without permission or password. This may lead to potential identity theft. We will have further coverage on this issue soon.

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