Former Wisconsin Governor and Bush-era Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, who is reportedly getting in the race for the Senate seat of retiring Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl (D), was once an advocate of microchipping human beings, The Huffington Post reports. Thompson once sat on the board of VeriChip, a company that makes small, implantable microchips (also known as RFIDs) that can be used for a variety of purposes.
VeriChip, now known as PositiveID, provides “unique health and security identification tools to protect consumers and businesses” and lays claim to the “first and only FDA-cleared implantable microchip for patient identification.” Thompson joined the board in 2005, but left to run for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, according to The Huffington Post.
“I certainly would, and I think its a coming thing,” Thompson told CNBC of human-chipping back in his VeriChip days.
Human-chipping has actually come up as a political issue in several states. Over the last few years, lawmakers in at least eight states have considered legislation to ban the technology, citing by a mix of health, privacy and even theological concerns. VeriChip/PositiveID also drew some headlines in 2004, when a Barcelona nightclub offered “its VIP clients the opportunity to have a syringe-injected microchip implanted in their upper arms that not only gives them special access to VIP lounges, but also acts as a debit account from which they can pay for drinks.”
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com