30 May, 2008
A bill awaiting approval by Missouri’s governor would make the state the fourth in the U.S. to ban employers from making their employees get RFID implants. If signed into law, this mostly theoretical invasion of privacy would become a misdemeanor offense, imposing a fine of up to $1000.
Missouri would join California, North Dakota and Wisconsin on the forefront of the battle against forced implants. Seventeen states have considered the issue this year, up from 13 in 2007. Concerns over the issue have found a voice among consumer privacy advocates, though so far there seems to be only one documented instance of employer-required tagging, at an Ohio video surveillance company.
The effort for the Missouri ban was led by Rep. Jim Guest, who has focused on libertarian issues such as opting out of the federal Real ID program. Guest initially attempted to prohibit all microchip implantation, but after an unsuccessful attempt, he inserted the narrower ban on employee implantation into a bill dealing with injured workers.