Several years ago, Israel unveiled plans to gather and collect biometric information on all of its citizens. Proposing that it wants to use the system to help “protect citizens” from identify theft and more, all citizens are being encouraged to get involved in the central biometric database. The pilot program asked citizens to voluntarily hand over a scan of their faces and fingerprints. Once the information scanned gets stored in the system, it would then become available to the military, police, and security forces, without them having to get a court order. The plan was to try out the program first and then to determine later whether or not it was going to become compulsory. “Every person who uses Facebook, or social networks, [they give] away biometric information. [When we tag] photos, we give away our locations, we give our biometric information to private companies and no one thinks it's a big deal. For some reason there is a bad reaction when it's the state, but the state will use this information to protect us, so we need to take this into consideration. ” Said Gabi Siboni, Director of the Military and Strategic Affairs Program. However, his assumption that the government is going to use it to “protect us” doesn't hold much weight, when you consider the fact that the only tool that the government has at its disposal is violence (force), and it has shown on repeated occasion that it wont think twice before violating the natural rights of its citizens. Despite the push from sympathizers of the project, there has fortunately been plenty of backlash to it. When they first unveiled the RFID system, the public was rightly outraged and very critical of the endeavor. Currently, millions of dollars are being funneled into designing RFID systems and tools, and pushing for this technology not only in Israel, but around the world.
An abundant amount of funds over the last few years have been heavily poured into researching and promoting RFID technology in the Israeli region. There are already projects in the works that are investing in RFID technology for tracking inventory, tracking waste management, even a national RFID voting system is even being designed. One of the main justifications for developing a Secure Mobile Biometric Voter Registration and Identification System, is supposedly to promote “transparency” with elections in the country. Digital-security giant SuperCom has been tapped to head the project and they expect to have the system implemented in less than 4 months. They have extensive experience in preparing digital-security products for various governments around the world. President and CEO of SuperCom, Arie Trabelsi, had this to say about the project, "governments around the world are looking to implement new technology to create more transparent voting procedures and build confidence in democratic election processes," an objective which SuperCom says they are pleased to comply with. Not only do they want it for voting, tracking waste, and tracking inventory, but they are also looking to apply it to a myriad of other areas, like the probation of criminals for instance. Instead of having an ankle bracelet on them, they want the ability to just be able to RFID chip them. Those working in the direction of furthering the RFID agenda, continue to reiterate that the purpose is to fight against terrorism and to offer more security and protection. Thus far, these claims come off as sensational empty promises.
In an effort to fuel support for the endeavor, the technology is also being promoted in tourist locations and in other creative ways. Thousands of teenagers have attended a series of "Coca-Cola Village” festivals in Israel that specifically promoted RFID technology. Visitors to the festival would use the RFID wristbands that they had been given to share their experiences with others through social networking. Every village guest received a wristband with an RFID microchip that was also linked to their Facebook account. Throughout the village, various attractions were fitted with an RFID microchip that was capable of collecting the users data and then sending it to their Facebook account. They aren't the first ones to do this, there are other beach clubs and hotels that are implementing this sort of system as well. It's obvious that Coca-Cola has the intention of trying to make the RFID lifestyle into a fun and trendy one. With the amount of funding that is going into these new programs, it's only a matter of time before we see a more prevalent existence of this technology embedded within our society.
SuperCom has stated that so far they've spent at least $10 million developing the RFID chip technology and that they've successfully created a chip with roughly a range of roughly 250 meters, that can easily be attached to a variety of different objects. India, the United States, and many other nations around the world are also looking into or currently using RFID technology. The prominent Tomorrowland music festivals are just one example of a social event that encourages a “cashless society” within its perimeter, promoting the use instead of RFID technology for social interactions and purchases. With France, Spain, and other nations declaring war on cash and increasingly going after cash transactions, it gives rise to the indication that we aren't that far off from a future that is going to prominently feature RFID technology in our everyday life. One expert even insinuated that getting by will become so inconvenient for those who aren't using the technology, that they will be forced into using it so that they can effectively function within the market and society.
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