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Thursday, February 7, 2013

British To Mandate Pet Microchips By 2016

If you live in the southern part of the UK, you won't have a choice of whether or not to get your pet "microchipped".

In 2016, English and Welsh authorities will require all of the country's dogs to have embedded microchips. The premise is that the pets can be returned to their owners if they run astray.

The United Kingdom's Environment Department says 4.8 million of the country's 8 million dogs already have the tags. Beginning in 2016, owners who don't "chip" their dogs could be forced to pay fines of up to £500 (about $780).

Cat microchipping will remain optional, since felines are less likely to wander outdoors.

Some privacy advocates worry the RFID microchipping could be an easy way to track humans as even the simplest of devices that can read RFIDs, including newer smartphones, can be had on the cheap. Dog owners would be easily located. Homes without dogs used for protection could also be targeted by thieves.

Others are worried about the implications of conditioning the public. Most people consider "chipping" their pet a wise measure. But could the practice of chipping our pets lead to humans being tracked?

The chip can carry almost any amount of information including dental records, insurance, social security, and credit card information ~ meaning one could simply wave their hand over a receiving device to pay or identify themselves in the near future. No wallet necessary.

That's a new concept, right?

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