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Author Topic: Tracking your children and other relatives.
Joe Bentley
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Several companies, mostly notably VeriChip, sell services to parents allowing their children to be implanted with RFID chips that allow the child's position to be tracked via GPS and I'm curious as to how everyone feels about this.

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Doug4.7
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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I might consider it for my parents if they became mentally disabled and might wander off.

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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I'd definitely consider this for my parents too Doug. Certainly it is a non-issue right now, but down the road should one of them end up with Alzheimers (or similar) and they were living with me I would be willing to keep this idea in mind if I was concerned about them wandering. That said :shudder: I don't like the idea.

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Rebochan the Retail Reindeer
Good King Wal-Mart


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It sounds dehumanizing to do this to my parents or kids. Tracking chips are used for animals and property.

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odin343434
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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That's about the only reason that I could think of that I would use it in too.

If mom has a tendency to wander the streets at 4am looking for her friend Mary that died 12 years ago... it might be a good idea to consider it then.

But there's no way I would approve of slapping one in your 16 year old because he likes to stay out and party too long.

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defaultcrush
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by Rebochan Caught The Rain:
It sounds dehumanizing to do this to my parents or kids. Tracking chips are used for animals and property.

This was my thought too. The idea of my parents not being able to understand what's going on and wandering off breaks my heart, but I couldn't bring myself to implanting them with a chip. [Frown] I'm sure it might work for others, but I don't think I could do it.

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I answered yes to some of the questions, because in certain circumstances I could see using a chip for a child or a parent. It would be an act of last resort, and I wouldn't be comfortable with it. But by the time things got to that point, I imagine there would be many aspects to the situation with which I wasn't comfortable.

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Doug4.7
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Expanding my answer...

If my parents wandered off, I would consider it as an alternative to locking them up. It would not be an easy decision, sort of: they die, get locked up, or install the chip.

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Thinking this over I could see installing a chip in an intellectually handicapped child. If that meant the child could be given a measure of freedom that they would not otherwise have I can see the benefit outweighing the ookiness I'd feel over doing something like this. To me I guess I can only see using this chip if I thought it would enhance the quality of life of the person who had the chip. I can see that this would be a very rare situation though.

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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Roadie
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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I'd be more inclined to utilize a tracking device that was more like the probation locking bracelet/anklet things. Something about implantation creeps me out.

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Roadie:
I'd be more inclined to utilize a tracking device that was more like the probation locking bracelet/anklet things. Something about implantation creeps me out.

I like this idea Roadie. If there is an alternative to implanting someone I'd far rather opt for that -- while hoping like hell I am never faced with even considering this!

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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Little Pink Pill
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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The remnants of the horror from the time my 4 yo let herself out of a vacation house and disappeared around the corner would make me willing to consider using one in my small children. In those few helpless minutes where she was completely out of my reach and vulnerable to the world, I would have given my kingdom for a tracking device--just in case someone got to her before I did.

But it would be an emergency safety measure only. It's absolutely not something I would use on an older kid just to monitor them.

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The technical term is narcissism. You can't believe everything is your fault unless you also believe you're all powerful.--House

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Auntie Witch
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Someone once grabbed my husband when he wandered away from his mother when he was a toddler and tried to take off with him. When I think of things like that, and the number of missing people, I can see where chipping might be a good idea. BUT, I wouldn't use it personally. People who chip their dog don't see what part of the yard the dog is in. They use it to locate the dog should something happen.

I'm a bit iffy on the idea, but when I see those posters of kids missing up in the lobby of various stores, I can't help but think of the heartache that would be saved if there was a way to locate them instantly by pushing a button on a computer.

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Doug4.7
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quote:
Originally posted by Auntie Witch:
Someone once grabbed my husband when he wandered away from his mother when he was a toddler and tried to take off with him...

This reminded of something that happened to my brother (with a much happier result). My Mom got a knock at the door and found our friend (from about 5-6 houses down). She had my brother (who was naked) and wanted to know if my Mom wanted him back [Wink] . Evidently, my bro got out of the house and out of his clothes (he was prone to run around naked) and was running down the street. He was about 3-4 year old at the time. He would have been able to get out of any bracelet. We still give him grief over this today...

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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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I could never see myself using one on anyone. But as long as the implantation and operation of the chip is harmless, I suppose I support its legality.

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Doug4.7:
quote:
Originally posted by Auntie Witch:
Someone once grabbed my husband when he wandered away from his mother when he was a toddler and tried to take off with him...

This reminded of something that happened to my brother (with a much happier result). My Mom got a knock at the door and found our friend (from about 5-6 houses down). She had my brother (who was naked) and wanted to know if my Mom wanted him back [Wink] . Evidently, my bro got out of the house and out of his clothes (he was prone to run around naked) and was running down the street. He was about 3-4 year old at the time. We still give him grief over this today...
My mom once answered the door to see a policeman standing there with my 3 yr old brother. He had taken his little car out on the Farringdon highway and was pedalling down along the line in the middle of the road [Eek!] . Of course a chip wouldn't have helped since mom had no idea he was gone until he got brought back.

In hindsight we shoulda known when he showed up at the door accompanied by a policeman that it was a sign of things to come!

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Little Pink Pill
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Doug4.7:
He would have been able to get out of any bracelet.

And a predator would be able to get one off.

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The technical term is narcissism. You can't believe everything is your fault unless you also believe you're all powerful.--House

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ComicBookGeek
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Oh, the irony...

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/10/01/microchip.family.ap/index.html

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Artemis
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How exactly do they get implanted?

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Joe Bentley
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Artemis:
How exactly do they get implanted?

The most common one, the Verichip RFID, is injected under your skin, usually in your forearm, with a needle. The procedure is usually done in a doctors office, takes only 20 minutes and requires no stitches and leaves no scar.

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Singing in the Drizzle
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quote:
Originally posted by Little Pink Pill:
quote:
Originally posted by Doug4.7:
He would have been able to get out of any bracelet.

And a predator would be able to get one off.
That has been my first though if I was predator or was kidnapping my own children if I had any for some reason. With tracking devices be more common and smaller. The smart thing to do is strip the child of all clothing and prosesion as quickly as possible and dump them.

I can see implanting children with a tracking device, but only if there is a high kidnapping or getting lost. With adults it just if they have a high risk of wandering off and getting lost.

I do not agree with tracking any child just because you wish to know were they are or don't trust them.

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Roadie
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Roadie:
I'd be more inclined to utilize a tracking device that was more like the probation locking bracelet/anklet things. Something about implantation creeps me out.

I guess I should clarify that I'd only consider this for a parent that could wander off, not for checking up on my kids.

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Bach_girl
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Small children- absolutely. If I had a small child I would appreciate the security of knowing that if they got lost they could be found immediately.

Teens- probably not, unless there was a serious problem of some sort.

Elderly parents w/ Dimentia or something- absolutely.

I also thing it would be great for someone of any age who is MR/DD. I have worked with enough people in that category that liked to run off.

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Little Pink Pill
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Joe, did you find info that there are newer VeriChips with GPS capabilities? The articles I'm finding say the ones that can be inserted through a needle only have a very short range and have to be detected by scanners.
quote:
The idea of using RFID gear to thwart kidnappers betrays a fundamental misunderstanding—or a deliberate misrepresentation—of how the technology works...The RFID readers now on the market have a maximum range of about 30 feet. To monitor kidnappings in progress, Mexico would need to install RFID readers in every building, office, store, and street corner.

Silverman concedes that the company's Mexican distributor may not have tried very hard to dispel the notion that VeriChips have GPS capabilities, which would be required for real remote tracking...until a GPS implant becomes reality, implanted RFID chips will come in handy mostly in identifying dead bodies—that is, assuming kidnappers have the decency not to dig the chips out of their victims' arms.

(Link)

Sub-dermal GPS devices, OTOH, are the size of pacemakers, require surgery to implant, and still have to connect to a cell phone to work.

Neither current option sounds very helpful to me, though I'm sure that will change soon enough.

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The technical term is narcissism. You can't believe everything is your fault unless you also believe you're all powerful.--House

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Don Enrico
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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To explain my answer on the legality question:

Even if I wouldn't use either a RFID or a GPS chip on anybody, I would keep the use legal
for adults who can decide themselfs. I can imagine circumstances under which somebody might decide the he want's do be easily identifyable (RFID) or be able to be found if lost (GPS). If he decides so, he should be allowed to go ahead.

I wouldn't allow anybody to decide that for someone else, though - not even parents for their children.

Don Enrico

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Little Pink Pill
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Don Enrico:
I wouldn't allow anybody to decide that for someone else, though - not even parents for their children.

Even for tiny children? If the implant was removed when they reached a certain age?

Why shouldn't I be allowed to know where my toddler is at all times?

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The technical term is narcissism. You can't believe everything is your fault unless you also believe you're all powerful.--House

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Delia Darrow
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I must first disclose that I have no dogs in this race; I have no children, and I *wish* my mother would wander off..

That said, I agree with Francis Bacon's statement "He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune". You cannot keep loved ones safe in this world, despite the best hi-tech help you employ. I understand the need to avoid losing those you love at all costs, but to give a living person an identifying implant comes dangerously close to considering that person your property.

If it were an implant that employed GPS technology, however, the usefulness of such a device might (in certain situations) outweigh the ethical concerns. An estranged spouse/parent who has been denied custody and threatens to kidnap a child would, IMHO, warrant the insertion of the chip. The same goes for an elderly ward with dementia who has a tendency to wander.

There is an important consideration in the case of a loved one who has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's or a similar disease that impairs the critical faculties. Whenever possible, the person to be monitored should give informed consent before the procedure is undertaken. It may not be pleasant to discuss such a bleak prognosis with your loved one, but I would think they would appreciate your efforts in regard to maintaining their personal autonomy.

Let us all hope that medical research is given the freedom from extremist religious dogma and sufficient funding as to obviate the need for these implants.

~DD

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Don Enrico
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quote:
Originally posted by Little Pink Pill:
quote:
Originally posted by Don Enrico:
I wouldn't allow anybody to decide that for someone else, though - not even parents for their children.

Even for tiny children? If the implant was removed when they reached a certain age?

Why shouldn't I be allowed to know where my toddler is at all times?

For the same reasons you (general you, of course!) are not allowed to tie him/her to the doorpost on a leash or keep him/her locked up in a room all day - it's (in my opinion) against human rights.

From what you posted above I know that you experienced the horror of a "lost child", and I can understand why you would consider such a device. I don't know how my reaction would be if I had children and had have the same experience.

Nevertheless, I consider it a violation of one of the most basic human rights to have anybody know where you are all the time. And even if you, LPP, would use the device only in an emergency situation like the one you described above, others would not. Once the possibility is there, parents would monitor all movements of the kids, schools would use the device to make sure students don't err on the way to the bathroom, employers would monitor time spent away from the desk/workbench, and so on ...
There's a reason why the probation locking bracelet/anklet must be approved by a judge.

Apart from all that, such chips (even a stand-alone subdermal GPS chip, should it be available at any time) are no helpfull measures against kidnapping. It would be easy for kidnappers to either block the signal or even cut the device out of the body.

Don Enrico

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Lainie
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quote:
Originally posted by Don Enrico:
Nevertheless, I consider it a violation of one of the most basic human rights to have anybody know where you are all the time.

In the case of most infants and toddlers, someone does, in fact, know where they are at all times. When no one knows where an infant or toddler is, it's because something has gone wrong. We already use technology to assist in proper supervision: nursery monitors allow us to, essentially, eavesdrop on our children. If your objection is not to the implantation, but to the constant supervision, what's the difference between a chip and the methods (some of them technological) that we already use?

In the case of small children, my greatest concern would be that people might use the chip as a substitute for proper adult supervision.

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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I wouldn't even allow such a chip in my car, so I certainly wouldn't put it in a person.

The technology has way too much potential for misuse. Remember, if one person can track you, so can another. That other person might be an abusive ex-spouse or someone else you don't want around. It might even be used by abusive spouses to enforce their paranoia jealosy driven need of control over their partner against their will.

Ban it.

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Cervus
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The RFID chips put in animals can't be tracked by GPS (yet). When a lost animal is dropped off at a shelter or clinic, the animal is scanned for a microchip. If there's one, an ID number comes up on the scanner. You enter the ID number into yuor database and it tells you contact information for the dog's owner.

I don't like the idea of implantation and I don't like the idea of my dog having a microchip. (I didn't choose to have one inserted in him; the shelter did that.) To me, personally, implanting a dog or cat with a chip is just as "wrong" as implanting a human with one. But that's based in my view of domesticated animals as family members.

Anyway, RFID chips as they are currently in use are only good if someone's found the animal, has a scanner, and contact information. They're not used to track the whereabouts of a lost animal - they're used to track the owner of a found animal.

Researchers who track animals for a living still use radio collars and transmitters that emit a GPS signal, but as far as I know there aren't commercially available microchips for this purpose. The transmitters are attached to the outside of the animal's body, and they try to make them as small as possible, but they're still bulky. If GPS microchips were available, I'd think we'd see them used in tracking wild animals for research long before we'd seriously discuss the possibility of them being used in humans.

Plus, microchips are placed subcutaneously (just under the skin) and can be removed anyway.

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christmas tree kitapper
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Wouldn't predators get be able to get their hands on devices that could locate the chips and then remove the chips?

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Cervus
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Yup.

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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Doug4.7
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Don Enrico:
For the same reasons you (general you, of course!) are not allowed to tie him/her to the doorpost on a leash...

When we had toddlers, we would "leash" them while in public. It gave them the freedom to walk "all my by self", while at the same time, allowed us to keep track of them. The kids didn't mind their rainbow harness.

I would have rather used a shock collar, but people seemed to disagree with that.... [Wink]

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And now for something completely different...

Posts: 4164 | From: Alabama | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Little Pink Pill
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Don Enrico:
And even if you, LPP, would use the device only in an emergency situation like the one you described above, others would not. Once the possibility is there, parents would monitor all movements of the kids, schools would use the device to make sure students don't err on the way to the bathroom, employers would monitor time spent away from the desk/workbench, and so on ...
There's a reason why the probation locking bracelet/anklet must be approved by a judge.

I definitely agree with you that technology like this could be easily abused. But like the locking bracelet, I think limiting its use to those who are at risk might make it possible to take advantage of its good aspects without jeopardizing people's rights.

As Laine said, babies, toddlers, and I would even say very young school age children not only should be, but must be "tracked" all the time for their own safety. To not supervise them completely would actually be neglect. To me, a GPS device would actually protect the rights of my small child, the rights a kidnapper would seek to take away. And while a predator might try to remove a tracking device, the danger would be greater for a VeriChip, which can be detected with a wand, than a sub-dermal GPS which potentially, once made small enough, could be hidden many places on the body.

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The technical term is narcissism. You can't believe everything is your fault unless you also believe you're all powerful.--House

Posts: 2684 | From: Budapest | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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