An RFID chip can hold encrypted information, unique enough to say, identify you as the owner of your smartphone (to unlock it), or open a door (to your home). A bizarre new company, Grindhouse Wetware, started by Amal Graafstra (Graafstra), introduced its RFID chip implants to the world through an internet video where ‘Northstar’ (an RFID chip) was shown being implanted into a person’s hand. This group of people who are willing to implant these chips in their bodies believe technology has reached the point where it can improve the human body–they are known as body hackers.
Graafstra says “A patient may someday come very soon and say, ‘My eye is totally fine, but I want an eye that can see infrared. And I want an eye that can zoom.” Graafstra says that this RFID chip is a way of merging digital identity and physical identity. At what point have we gone too far? Graafstra says we haven’t gone far enough. He says, “I think once people realize, ‘Oh it’s OK that my grandma has a pacemaker’… people are going to start to accept this. You know, the era of transhumanism, I would say, is here. So let’s accept that and then see where that logically takes us.” Not only does this movement propose new questions about human and potentially cyborg identities but also brings forth questions about whether we will live in a world where our identities are written on our sleeves (almost literally).