Millennials’ Increasing Openness to Microchip Implants in Humans: A Confluence of Factors
Johnson and Wales University – Providence, United States
In 2005, the European Group on Ethics articulated that there was “a stepwise shift in progress of individuals being turned into networked beings allowing movements, habits, and contacts to be traced and defined.” Stepwise may now be better described as drastically accelerated with a confluence of factors. Because of technology, society has never been so vulnerable to informal, and unauthorized surveillance. Headlines reveal the risk to privacy with government mandates for broadcast surveillance of personal phone records, tracking through cell phones, and improper usage of electronic files by governments to discriminate against, or punish constituents with opposing views. Society perceives advantages of surveillance, such as when surveillance can mitigate individual vulnerabilities. When considering the global context, there are voids relative to regulations and uniformity of standards for microchip implants in humans. One emerging factor that ought to be carefully considered is the “next great generation” (aka Millennials born 1981-2000). Research reveals they are more open to microchip implants for employee identification when compared with preceding generations. Additionally, their openness to microchip implants has reportedly increased between 2005 and 2010. Millennials’ power to influence is increasing; they influence the decisions of other generations. They are the fastest growing segment of the US workforce and future owners of small businesses that constitute the political clout of the EU. Therefore, Millennials are noteworthy society stakeholders who will affect the development of regulations and be forced to confront the ethical dilemmas relative to microchip implants which create networked beings who are traced and defined. However, researchers report Millennials prefer to have ethical dilemmas resolved by an external force (e.g. authority) rather than by resolving it on their own accord. The time is now for multi-generational dialogue. Preceding generations can educate Millennials on the lessons learned historically when the rights of society are diminished and partner with Millennials to move toward resolution of the ethical dilemmas as they emerge as the primary societal influencers.