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Microchip bill once again on mind of Indiana lawmakers

Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 5:24 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Keeping your right to privacy in tune with the changing times is once again on the minds of Indiana lawmakers.

Last year, the Indiana General Assembly unanimously passed a bill saying workers can not be fired for refusing to have a microchip implanted on their person.

This year, lawmakers are working on a bill that would prevent state and local governments from requiring chips.

A Wisconsin vending machine company named Three Square Market is believed to be the first in the nation to implant microchips into employees.

One chip is are about the size of a grain of rice and it’s injected into the hand.

They can be used to open doors, boot up computers, and make vending machine payments.

“I started this bill three years ago and I think a lot of folks when I talked about it thought I was wearing my foil hat and kind of, you know, swimming around in the conspiracy pool, but it’s not,” said Ind. Rep. Alan Morrison, (R) Brazil. “It’s a pretty pervasive thing especially over in Europe and in Scandinavian countries.”

Rep. Morrison feels if it can happen in Wisconsin, it can happen in Indiana. He has pushed through legislation to keep chipping in check.

“It has the ability to track locations of people and everything from your heart rate, your blood pressure, it can be some pretty personal and invasive information.”

The Indiana law doesn’t say a company can’t chip workers. It just says a refusal to get chipped can’t be a reason for being fired, or not hired.

“But if an employee says I don’t feel comfortable with that, I don’t want my employer mandating that I have to have a foreign body inserted into my body,” said Morrison, “They cannot release that employee because of that.”

The Indiana law also prevents companies from offering higher pay or better benefits based on a worker’s willingness to get a chip.

South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Jeff Rea said microchips were not high on the legislative priorities of his organization. “Indiana is usually about the last state to adopt any bill, not the first, and I don’t know how many bills, how many states already have a anti microchipping thing, but no employers I’ve ever talked about it, or had been contemplating that with their employees.”

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