STATISTICALLY SPEAKING, TEENS PREFER SUICIDE OVER CHIP IMPLANT
By Liz McIntyre & Katherine Albrecht
The sky is falling! Or is it? A breathless report in the UK Daily Mail proclaimed earlier this week that "young shoppers want to pay with chip in skin." While this headline is certainly explosive (it got the attention of the Drudge report), it is also utterly preposterous. If you read the article, you will quickly discover that young people do NOT want to "pay with a chip in the skin." Indeed, 92% of them said they did not.
Picking up a survey in which virtually all respondents say they would NOT do something and reporting it as a ringing endorsement is misleading journalism, plain and simple. The Daily Mail should be ashamed.
But assuming there was some real news here, how significant is it that 8% of teens said they'd get a payment chip? Just for kicks, we looked around the net at other studies of UK teens and found a few interesting statistics. While 8% of teens say they would consider a payment chip implant, another survey shows that 20% of UK teens are experiencing psychological problems at any given time, and nearly a third of college students have contemplated suicide at some point in their lives. Contemplating suicide would seem far more dramatic than considering a chip implant, yet we don't read stories proclaiming that UK youth are lining up in droves to kill themselves.
What's more, a third of UK teens reported vandalizing property within the last year, a quarter reported shoplifting, forty percent had binged on alcohol, and half reported committing at least one criminal act. [Source] In other words, teens (as we know) are still trying to figure out the basic rules of social behavior and self-control, and are likely to harm themselves in the process.
Given these other eye-opening statistics, the amazing part of the chipping study is that more teens didn't agree, even on paper (where there's no reality check in the form of a massive hypodermic needle), to get a chip implant.
What all this boils down to is that, statistically speaking, teens prefer suicide over chip implants. The Daily Mail headline might have more accurately read "I'd sooner kill myself than get chipped."
� 2006 - Liz McIntyre & Katherine Albrecht - All Rights Reserved
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Liz McIntyre is a consumer privacy expert and author of Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track your Every Move with RFID. In this explosive book, McIntyre and co-author Katherine Albrecht reveal how organizations like Procter & Gamble, Gillette, Wal-Mart, and even the U.S. Postal Service plan to use tiny computer chips smaller than a grain of sand to track everyday objects-and even people-keeping tabs on everything you own and everywhere you go.
Katherine Albrecht is a privacy advocate and co-author of Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track your Every Move with RFID. Albrecht has testified on RFID technology before the Federal Trade Commission, the California state legislature, the European Commission, and the Federal Reserve Bank, and she has given over a thousand television, radio and print interviews to news outlets all over the world. Her efforts have been featured on CNN, NPR, the CBS Evening News, Business Week, and the London Times, to name just a few.