Tracking kids via microchip ‘can’t be far off,’ says expert

Dickerson said she though one day, “I microchip my dog, why couldn’t I
microchip my son?”

I think there’s something despicable about treating a human being the same way you would treat a dog or your keys.

Its one thing to chip your keys or have one of those devices that when you whistle the keyring goes bleep-bleep to help you find it. I can imagine extending that to people who let their dogs (or cats) roam and need/want to have them in at night. Domesticated pets might not be able to cope with even urban predators such as badgers and grizzly raccoons.
If, that is, the animals aren’t smart though to come in when you call them.

But treating a human as you would a dog?

What’s that? “Kidnapping”?
So this is getting reduced to an issue of Risk management is it?
What’s the risk of kidnapping?

The reality is that the press is not interested in the humdrum of life so it plays up the spectacular and we come to believe that this is the norm even though its not.

And if your child is a clear target for kidnapping because you’re a celebrity, then there are much better controls to make sure the kidnapping doesn’t happen in the first place.

However to my mind there is one thing that none of this has considered.
Oh, wait, more than one thing.

The child become an adult, then what? Are we going to have a society where every adult is chipped? When chipped adults are the norm? How is this different, once we have GPS satellite tracking of such people, from the unresolvable tracking band certain accused felons have to wear as part of their bail conditions? Will not being chipped become a privilege for the elite?

So, as an adult you can remove the chip your parents implanted. Lets suppose that become a legal right on achieving majority. What’s to say that the hypothetical kidnappers of the earlier part of the child’s like won’t have access to chip scanning/detection & removal technology?

Heck, come to that what’s to say that the kidnappers won’t have access to somewhere underground, a basement with good RF-impermeable stone and concrete or perhaps a cave system, where GPS cannot reach?

No, this idea is just too flawed. It simply has not been thought through.

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  1. Yes, this is just a novelty story.

    > “I microchip my dog, why couldn’t I microchip my son?”

    As pointed out, a dog is property, a son is not. Rights to property are almost absolute; rights to other persons have been pretty limited for a while now.

    I got my cat through my local animal shelter. They require a microchip. That way, when they find the cat dead in the street, they can scan it, find the adoption records, and notify me of my loss. I don’t think that is as helpful for children.

    My neighbor cat wears a fat collar — and it has a cellular uplink that allows my neighbor to track where the cat is during the day. It is interesting, but again of limited utility, since in general the cat wouldn’t be at an easy place to recover them from (I think the granularity is around 50m) but again if it stopped moving for an extended period of time, it might be helpful to recover the body.

    But really, I think for a child the point wouldn’t be to prevent kidnapping but to track movements; I think parents protection rights trump a child’s privacy rights. On my cell phone, I have an app, “GPSlogger” that will periodically wake up and send a GPS trackpoint to file or remote server. I used local files, but it would be trivial to use it to know where the phone was. So give the phone to the child; if very young, sew it into a pocket, and if older tell them to keep it with them. There might be compliance issues (hey, would you hold my phone for me? I want to go over to the wrong side of the tracks…) but that is a helpful thing between parent and child.

    So implanting just means you can’t trust the phone to stay with the child — that the child is so willful he would reject your control (in which case you have a far bigger problem) or that he would be forcibly separated from the phone. As noted, child abductions are very rare, and in most cases the child is killed within three hours of the abduction. So again, we are back to making it easier to notify me of my loss.

    Not helpful.

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