Microchipping and Family Law Implications

A Look at the Future

microchipping legal implicationsRecently, a company in Wisconsin offered voluntary micro-chipping to employees. And about 40 workers went for it. According to USA Today, “In one of the oddest corporate ceremonies we’ve heard of, a tattoo artist inserted rice-sized microchips into the hands of employees at Three Square Market, a Wisconsin firm that makes cafeteria kiosks to replace vending machines. The point: convenience. Chipped employees can bypass key fobs and badges and corporate log-ons to computers.”

“We foresee the use of RFID technology to drive everything from making purchases in our office break room market, opening doors, use of copy machines, logging into our office computers, unlocking phones, sharing business cards, storing medical/health information, and used as payment at other RFID terminals,” commented 32M CEO, Todd Westby.

Concerns about “Big Brother” tracking?

According to 32M, the chips they will be using are not capable of transmitting their location. “The chip is not trackable and only contains information you choose to associate with it. This chip does not have GPS capabilities. RFID readers are proximity readers and can only be read with a few inches of an appropriate device. The implant uses near-field communication (NFC); the same technology used in contactless credit cards and mobile payments.”

The 32M opportunity is limited in scope but nonetheless it’s a big first step forward toward the elimination of the wallet. “Eventually, this technology will become standardized allowing you to use this as your passport, public transit, all purchasing opportunities, etc,” according to Westby.

“Micro-chipping is one of those futuristic opportunities that I love to read about – interesting and cool,” said Oakland County Family Law Attorney Kathryn Wayne-Spindler, “but, whoa, Big Brother.”

Attorney Wayne-Spindler, will have her eye on the potential benefits, misuses and legal implications of this technology especially if GPS tracking is added. When it comes to family law, there are countless potential scenarios where micro-chipping could increase the safety and well-being of willing participants. Suppose a child is at risk for International Parental Kidnapping, a microchip could send a signal to law enforcement if the child was removed from an approved region. It could be helpful for a child to have medical records and/or alerts with them at all times regardless of which parent or caregiver they are with. If used as a quiet panic button, domestic violence crimes might be averted. Imagine if the chip could be used to test blood alcohol levels and block a drunk driver from starting the car. For people with special needs or chronic health problems, the chip could potentially open doors; steer a wheelchair; warn about oncoming seizures; give medication reminders; or provide blood-sugar alerts. Paying a child’s allowance might someday be as simple as shaking hands. Literally. These are just a few of the family law uses that seem like sci-fi now but may not be too far off.

Potential Legal Implications of Microchipping Technology

Of course technology like this is not without the danger of misuse and illegal invasion of privacy. And there are many questions about how it will be applied especially if GPS tracking is added. Will evidence from chips be admissible in court? Should schools be allowed to use teenagers’ chips to monitor their attendance? What about businesses keeping track of employees lunch breaks? At what age will children be able to decide for themselves if they either want to be chipped or have a chip removed? Mentally-challenged or memory-challenged citizens may stand to benefit from the many helpful aspects of chips, but will also be especially vulnerable to potential misuse.

Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates looks to the future

Going forward, microchip technology will have unimaginable implications in family law and probate law. Kathryn Wayne-Spindler is eagerly monitoring news regarding uses and obstacles of the newest technological advances. For help with family law matters including divorce, child custody, estate planning and probate, contact the Milford, Michigan law office of Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates at 248-676-1000. The experienced family law attorneys at Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates handle cases throughout Southeastern Michigan including Oakland, Washtenaw, Wayne, Genesee and Livingston counties. The law office serves Milford; Hartland; Highland; White Lake; Walled Lake; Commerce; Waterford; Howell; South Lyon; New Hudson; Grand Blanc; Holly and many more local communities.

Written and Posted by Christine Donlon Long, Communications’ Specialist for Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates