Each legislative session thousands of bills and amendments are introduced in the Pennsylvania Legislature. Only a fraction become law, and an even smaller portion receive wide media coverage.
These bills impact the lives of people living in Pennsylvania every day.
Each week The Sentinel will highlight one bill that has not received widespread attention.
About the bill
It’s like a scene out of a dystopian, science-fiction movie: Employees line up to get their mandatory microchip implanted under their skin.
That’s a future one lawmaker is hoping to avoid.
Rep. Kathy Rapp, R-Crawford County, has introduced a bill that would make it a crime to implant a microchip or other device containing radio frequency identification technology in another person without their authorization.
RFID systems consists of a tag, like a microchip, and a reader. It uses electromagnetic waves to communicate between the two, according to RFID Journal.
The systems operate somewhat similarly to barcode readers. With a barcode reader, a light beam scans the bar code and interoperates the white and black space to correlate to data, like the price of a good. RFID systems use the electromagnetic waves to communicate data stored on the tag, which the reader interprets, according to RFID Journal.
In July, the tech company Three Market Square offered employees voluntary implantation of an RFID microchip that would allow them to do things like clock in and out, open doors and purchase snacks from vending machines, according to CNET.
Employees who opted in had a microchip roughly the size of a grain of rice placed under their skin in their hand.
“Recent news reports indicating that employers in the U.S. and other nations have begun implanting employees with radio frequency identification (RFID) microchips is alarming to say the least,” Rapp wrote in a co-sponsorship letter for her bill. “While a number of these reports indicate that the implantation is voluntary, volunteering to receive an RFID chip is the beginning of a very slippery slope.”
House Bill 1864 would make it a first degree misdemeanor to implant one of these devices into another person without their written authorization.
The bill also prohibits courts or other public officials from compelling or requiring another person to have one of these devices implanted in them.