COLUMBUS, OH—The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio applauded the introduction of Ohio Senate Bill 349 by Senator Robert Schuler (R-Cincinnati) that would prohibit employers from mandating an employee use radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. The tags are inserted into the body of a person and are used as a means of tracking.
“Requiring that a person must insert a chip into their body as a condition of employment is an invasive and demeaning practice,” said ACLU of Ohio Executive Director Christine Link.
Link continued, “The idea that an employer may track someone’s every move through a chip implanted in their body sounds like the plot to a futuristic horror movie.”
Although the RFID programs have yielded some positive benefits when tracking manufactured goods, pharmaceuticals and toxic waste, they have also come under fire. Since the technology was first introduced, various civil rights organizations have raised concerns over the loss of privacy and invasiveness of requiring people to insert chips into their body.
Other criticisms of the program include the potential for them to become huge data aggregators, and both data tags and readers can be easily hidden in places such as floor tiles, carpeting, the sole of a shoe, doorways and retail shelving, opening the door for surveillance on people.
“This is an important bill that deserves close consideration from both sides of the political aisle,” Link added. “As technology continues to advance, lawmakers have the responsibility of creating regulations to make sure the technology does not infringe on Americans’ most cherished rights. Everyone should be able to move about freely without being tracked by their employer and no one should be required to insert a tracking chip into their body. ”
The nonprofit, nonpartisan ACLU of Ohio has offices in Cleveland and Cincinnati and community and campus chapters located throughout the state. Due to a recent increase in membership, there are now almost 30,000 ACLU members and supporters in Ohio and more than 500,000 nationwide.