Microchipping could have “sinister implications” for working people if UK firms introduce the technology on employess, says a TUC spokesperson.
The comments come after British firms are reportedly planning to introduce a scheme that will see their staff microchipped to improve security and restrict employees from accessing sensitive areas.
Talking to Matthew Wright on talkRADIO, Matt Creagh, Policy Officer at Trade Union Congress (TUC) said: “I think reading the reports chipping employers could have quite sinister implication for working people.
“I think people are employees and not company property to be chipped. There’s an obvious risk with these new sorts of technology that they could be misused and become real dangers to workers.”
Biohax, a Swedish firm which makes hi-tech implants, claims it is in talks with a number of UK companies to introduce the microchipping programme. It is reported one of the companies has “hundreds of thousands of employees.”
Talking to the Telegraph, Jowen Osterlund, the founder of Biohax said: “These companies have sensitive documents they are dealing with. [The chips] would allow them to set restrictions for whoever.”
The human chip implants are the size of a grain of rice and are intended to be implanted in the employees hand, with a cost of £150 each.
Chips 'could invade people's right to privacy'
However, Mr Creagh has warned of the dangers these chips could pose to workers, as they can be used to store date.
“Well, I think some of the dangers are, today for example, they were talking about the chip that just going to be used to open doors, but if you look closer those chips can be used to store data as well.
“So potential danger is what the employer can do with that data at a future point - and we already know that some employers already misuse surveillance to erode dignity in the workplace and invade people’s right to privacy.
“There are examples where personal emails have been accessed, toilet breaks have been timed and I think it is the thin end of the wedge using these sorts of technology that could be used to start disciplinary procedures as well.”
The chips, primarily introduced for security and to access work doors, already have some personal individuals in the UK with some using them to open their cars and store medical data.
Mr blah added that new forms of technology are a benefit to workers, but called for “safeguards” when it came to microchipping.
“I think some forms of new technology are good for workers. Cameras for example might stop people being subjected to violence in the workplace.
“New forms of technology like chipping could be introduced but there must be certain safeguards put in place to stop them being misused, so for example there should be a legal requirement to consult with your staff before introducing new forms of surveillance.”