Skip to Content

Wisconsin Company Holds Party to Implant Workers With Microchips

Well, that’s one way to ensure employee loyalty…

When most businesses throw a party, it’s to note a milestone or a birthday. At Wisconsin’s Three Square Market, also known as 32M, Tuesday’s celebration revolved around implanting microchips into roughly half of its workforce.

41 of the company’s 85 workers actually volunteered to take part in the “chip party” – having a microchip implanted into their bodies, which the company says will let them open doors, log into computers and buy snacks from the break room with a wave of their hand.

On the upside, the employees didn’t have to pay for the chips. The company picked up the tab for that.

Tony Danna
Tony Danna, left, vice president of international development at Three Square Market in River Falls, Wis., receives a microchip in his left hand at company headquarters Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017. The company is making microchips available to its employees, allowing them to open doors, log onto their computers or buy breakroom snacks by simply waving their hand. (AP Photos/Jeff Baenen)Jeff Baenen — AP
Jeff Baenen — AP

Chips have long been used as identification markers for pets who are prone to roam. But inserting them into the flesh of human beings is a new phenomenon. 32M managers said the practice was more common in Europe.

Those same officials noted that the chips were encrypted and did not have GPS functionality, so the company can’t track employee cyborg movements or obtain private information. (It’s worth noting, though, that hackers have proven especially skilled at breaking into encrypted systems, including voting machines, when they put their mind to it.)

If this sounds like a horrifying commitment to a job to you, it gets worse. Noelle Chesley, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, tells the Chicago Tribune she expects implanting microchips into employees will become the norm in years to come.