If people won’t take the under-the-skin RFID chip for their health, maybe they can be convinced by the convenience:

Clubbers in Spain are choosing to receive a microchip implant instead of carrying a membership card. It is the latest and perhaps the most unlikely of uses for implantable radio frequency ID chips.

The Baja Beach Club in Barcelona offers people signing up for VIP membership a choice between an RFID chip and a normal card. VIP members can jump the entrance queues, reserve a table and use the nightclub’s VIP lounge.

‘The RFID chip is not compulsory,’ says Conrad Chase, managing director of the club. But he says there are advantages to having it. The obvious one is that you do not have to carry a membership card around with you, but also it means you can leave your wallet at home. This is because the RFID can be used as an in-house debit card, says Chase.

When drinks are ordered the RFID is scanned with a handheld device and the cost is added to your bill. The chips, called VeriChips, are produced by US company Applied Digital Solutions.

This is the same chip recently touted by the Department of Health & Human Services as one of the technologies likely to improve the health of Americans in the 21st Century.

I’m not prepared to call this the Mark of the Beast, but I don’t like the idea of somebody being able to read my ID and medical information without my knowledge.

The chip’s use as a medical indentifier would have to get FDA approval before going into widespread use. I suspect the inclusion by HHS in its “Healthier US Summit” is the first step in the PR battle.

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