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Extreme access control measures: How far would you go?




RFID technology is nothing new. Proximity and smart cards have small RFID transmitters that exchange information with door readers. RFID tags are attached to valuable equipment in schools and hospitals for inventory and location tracking purposes. Even pets can be “microchipped” with a tag inserted into their necks. Now, it seems that some people are finding a new use for RFID chips—by surgically implanting them into themselves.

In early November in Sweden, a woman underwent a small procedure to have a microchip implanted into her hand. In fact, a few dozen others who consider themselves to be “biohackers” have undergone a similar process. The reason? To be able to open doors with a wave of the hand instead of using keys, PIN codes, or access cards.

It’s understandable why some wouldn’t want to use keys; people can be absent-minded and forget their keys at home, or where they last put them. Others tend to lose their keys or wallet quite often. However, the idea of undergoing surgery to avoid having to carry keys or access cards seems rather impractical, if not extreme, so considering alternative methods of unlocking doors without keys is probably a better idea.

Outfitting doors with biometric readers allows the freedom of not having to worry about physical keys because a face, palm, or fingerprint presented to the scanner would be the credential to enter. Using a smartphone as an access control credential might prove effective since many people constantly have their devices with them at all times; the only extra equipment required would be Bluetooth or NFC-enabled readers connected to the doors (depending on the specifications of the smartphone). Either of these access methods would be far less inconvenient than undergoing surgery to be implanted with a microchip.