Employees: DO NOT Let Your Employer MicroChip You-Ever!
July 26, 2017
Much has been publicized but very little has been written beyond the #PRSpin about the “rice-sized” (um-nope) RFID implant that allows employees at 32 Market to access snacks in the vending room and open certain doors without the need for cash or a pesky access card.
According to CNBC:
Three Square Market will be the first firm in the U.S. to use the device, which was approved by the FDA in 2004, CEO Todd Westby told CNBC on Monday.
“We think it’s the right thing to do for advancing innovation just like the driverless car basically did in recent months,” he said in an interview with “Closing Bell.“
Nope, so much is inconsistent & contradictory with Westby’s take:
- FDA does not approve devices they clear them. FDA’s lack of clarity to the public, coupled with company executive’s manipulation of the facts, and media’s misunderstanding of the facts, gives the public a false sense of security that FDA or the company has done extensive clinical testing on what’s being implanted-that is false.
- Still want more information? Here’s my talk at FDA last fall discussing the differences and taking FDA to task for not telling the public the difference between pharma drugs getting approved and medical devices getting cleared.
- FDA de novo cleared a Radio Frequency chip (RFID) implant in 2004 for Verichip Health Information Microtransponder and Pocket Reader, which was requested by Digital Angel Corporation, NOT, according the FDA filing , Todd Westby of Three Square Market as he implied during the CNBC interview.
FDA De Novo Classification--------------> click + for more
De novo classification is an alternate pathway to classify new devices into Class I or II that had automatically been placed in Class III after receiving a Not Substantially Equivalent (NSE) determination in response to a 510(k) submission. In this process, a sponsor who receives an NSE determination may, within 30 days of receiving notice of the NSE determination, request FDA to make a risk-based classification of the device under section 513(a)(1) of the Act.
I’ve found that De Novo is often used as a work around to try and manipulate the FDA to gain clearance without actually doing the work necessary (or spending money on costly testing) to get a 510(k) clearance. De Novo clearance will remain a #RedFlag for me until proven otherwise.
Employees and need ask, if this device was cleared in 2004 why has it taken to 2017 to actually implant in the United States?
On the surface, the average person would think it had to do with the safety profile and the company was being cautious. As a former medical device rep, with 13 years experience in the industry, turned federally recognized whistleblower, I will tell you that companies have sales forces in place before FDA clearance in anticipation of the product’s clearance. They need to get their research and development money back and make money for the investors (typically 8-10x’s their investment in 3-5 years). Meaning, it’s inconsistent & contradictory for a FDA cleared product to sit dormant for 13 years in the United States. Medical device companies tout the “it’s been used successfully in Europe,” line for years. They have different standards and regulations and my previous experience in the industry is the company was saying that to unethically and illegally work-around the FDA.
Innovation is used as a manipulation to evade the law in medical device community
Possible problems with implants:
- Foreign body infection
- Infection at the implant site
- Scarring over the implant
- Muscle or tissue damage
- Explanting for MRI
- Explanting for maintenance or removal
Anything implanted into the body is considered a medical device. Outside the obvious concern over what appears to be a lack of clinical trial data regarding this implant used in the United States for this application (vending and door opening) are 32 Market’s CEO’s Todd Westby comments. While claiming the employee implantation is voluntary, Westby inconsistently and contradictory states “We think it’s the right thing to do for advancing innovation…“. As an employee it’s likely they’re hearing being implanted “is the right thing to do” and not being implanted is the “wrong thing” to do.
This is a manipulation tactic which could be viewed as a possible threat or even intimidation or fear of retaliation/termination if an employee opts out of the now media driven campaign to get employees implanted. Some reports state that 50 out of 80 employees have agreed to the implantation. It’s also unknown if employees are offered stock options as a part of the employment. That’s also another tactic often used by companies to manipulate employees where the benefit is only to the company and not the employees.
This doesn’t even scrape the surface of the entire moral side of chipping an employee. Tracking how much an employee spends or what they eat could likely be used by someone abusive in management to harass an employee or even during a performance review. I could imagine an abusive manager or executive telling a sales rep behind on quota, “You’d have more energy to hit your number if you at more peanuts and less Cheetos,” or “You don’t need a raise, you need to hit the vending machine less.” This also doesn’t address the possibility of adding a GPS tracker in the future. The company claims it does not at this time.
It will be interesting to note, most especially to EEOC attorneys, if the 30 that opt out are passed over for promotions, threatened, intimidated, insulted and demeaned either by other employees, management or executives. Below is a list of steps to protect yourself as an employee (regardless of industry) and a point that took me too long to learn: Think of HR as your spouse’s divorce attorney (there to protect the company and not you).
It is interesting to note that I could not find out who owns the company, or who funds the company, that’s also a #RedFlag for someone like myself. The absence of information is often used as a manipulation. We must have all the facts in order to make the most educated decisions.
It’s up to each person who reads this too look at the facts, ask questions and make the best decisions for you and your family if the subject of employer microchip implanting should arise. I for one, given the current information or lack of information, would not allow for implantation as I see it as a manipulation for investor ROI at the expense of employees, consumers and in the event of a DOJ investigation, taxpayers. I’d stick with using cash or a debit card in vending machines and using the traditional key card and hands to open doors. I don’t hate innovation, I only hate when it’s used as a manipulation that harms others for investor ROI.
For more information on RFID head to: