We Need a Human Bar Code

Kaye Beach

June 27, 2012

Really we don’t need a human barcode but the arguments entertaining or even in favoring such a thing are becoming more and more common.  The campaign is being cranked up.

This article asks the question, ‘ Is a human barcode on the way?’  Noting that it is already technologically feasible (which, of course, means we will do it) the author moves on to the next question; will it violate our privacy?

That is the wrong question.

Here are some better ones;

Just because we can do something does that mean we should? 

Would the use of such technology, in addition to destroying our privacy, also destroy our humanity?

Is a ‘human barcode’ on the way?

Friday, June 01, 2012

Would you barcode your baby? Microchip implants have become standard practice for our pets, but have been a tougher sell when it comes to the idea of putting them in people. Science fiction author Elizabeth Moon last week rekindled the debate on whether it’s a good idea to “barcode” infants at birth in an interview on a BBC radio program. “I would insist on every individual having a unique ID permanently attached — a barcode if you will — an implanted chip to provide an easy, fast inexpensive way to identify individuals,” she said on The Forum, a weekly show that features “a global thinking” discussing a “radical, inspiring or controversial idea” for 60 seconds

Moon believes the tools most commonly used for surveillance and identification — like video cameras and DNA testing — are slow, costly and often ineffective.

In her opinion, human barcoding would save a lot of time and money.

The proposal isn’t too far-fetched – it is already technically possible to “barcode” a human – but does it violate our rights to privacy?

Read more


The idea of treating human beings like inventory is a popular and pervasive one for control freaks and slave fetishists alike.  And the author of the above article wasn’t being over the top in mentioning attaching some kind of ID to infants at birth.  That is exactly how it would work because in order to be certain that the person and the identity are correctly matched is to cement the ID to the individual at the moment of birth.  At some point we will be told that such a system is necessary for life in this modern world.  When that time comes technology corporations are ready.

Here is one example.


2 responses to “We Need a Human Bar Code

  1. Those people…

  2. Barcode everyone at birth, http://www.chyp.com/media/blog-entry/barcode-everyone-at-birth – Dave Birch, who wrote that post, was joking

    Never mind real names, what about real faces – http://www.chyp.com/media/blog-entry/never-mind-real-names-what-about-real-faces – the “barcode” may not be so much a barcode as a social graph.

    Facebook are particularly well-placed to provide social graphs – a person is a set of contacts.

    Or Google – a person is a set of searches.

    Or the phone companies – a person is a set of locations over time and/or a set of calls made and received.

    Or the UK government – a person is a set of entitlements.

    Of course, if you ask a normal person what a person is, you’re more likely to hear something about a responsible agent trying to act morally, so none of the equivalences above quite capture the notion of a person, it’s more like a unit of government, a piece of inventory, as you say.

    Since those units aren’t persons, they should properly be called something else. Citizens? Subjects? Or maybe ants?

    Now let’s hear the first politician advocate the use of identity management on all those ants out there who elected him or her.

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