WI Bill Bans Secret Microchip Implants

April 27, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A proposal moving through the Wisconsin state Legislature would prohibit anyone from requiring people to have the tiny chips embedded in them or doing so without their knowledge.

According to an Associated Press news report, violators would face fines of up to $10,000 under the plan authored by state Representative Marlin Schneider, which won approval in the Assembly last month. The state Senate on Tuesday is scheduled to consider the measure, which would allow for the implants if the person gives consent.

Governor Jim Doyle would sign the bill, a spokesman said.

Schneider aides say the legislator wants the law in place before companies and governments could use them to keep track of their employees.

“I don’t think most people had thought about this as an issue, but it’s scary. It’s reality now,” said Michael Schoenfield, an aide to Schneider. “Companies can or will be ordering their employees to have chips implanted. We want to stop that before it begins.”

VeriChip Corp. of Delray Beach, Florida, is the only company with federal approval to implant such chips in people. The company so far has implanted 2,500 people worldwide with chips the size of a grain of rice under the skin of their upper arms, said spokesman John Procter.

In February, a Cincinnati surveillance equipment company became the first US business to use this application when a handful of employees voluntarily got implants to allow them to enter secure rooms (See  Ohio Security Firm Uses Microchips Embedded in Employees ). Some employees in the Mexico attorney general’s office have also been implanted with chips, whose signals are recognized by readers in doorways.

The proposal would leave the door open for the state to order implants to track sex offenders or for parents to track their children under an amendment offered by Representative Scott Suder. Such applications are years away because the chips do not yet allow for surveillance tracking.