The idea is old, the technology is happening right now.
The idea? Rather than giving convicts bulky ankle bracelets to verify that they abide by their curfew, and do not venture out of the geographic limits imposed on them by the crown, put a small micro-chip into their bodies. This would preform the same tracking function, but would be much less cumbersome, hindering, and doesn't broadcast the fact that you're a criminal to your surroundings.
The idea is currently most vivid in the UK, which suffers from highly overcrowded prisons. This would greatly broaden the perspective of house-arrest, coupled with working penalties. I have mixed feelings about that because I support both rehabilitation, while at the same time shunning the current policies of not locking people up who deserve to be behind bars. I suppose that the courts will use the same caution and sense with this technology as they do with the current options for punishment outside of jail. (no sarcasm intended)
The technology isn't brand new either ...
"The company claims its VeriChips are used in more than 5,000 installations, crossing healthcare, security, government and industrial markets, but they have also been used to verify VIP membership in nightclubs, automatically gaining the carrier entry – and deducting the price of their drinks from a pre-paid account."
It's been established that it works for some matters and is no hazard to ones health, but human rights advocates are now -as they always have- objecting to the idea. They say that if we can't see why this is so bad, we need a common sense bypass. Could we be next? For all you know, there's already a nano-sized implant stuck in you, planted the last time you got a flu shot, or went to a dentist! William Gibson incorporated that little gimmick into one of his books, Mona Lisa overdrive, science fiction.
They could, couldn't they? They could be tracking your every move for all you know, does it bother you to think about that? Of course that's just a science fiction story, a paranoid delusion at worst ... a perfectly plausible, but unlikely shred of imagination.
It's also been established that one could "steal" the information from your chip, just as easy as one can with a credit card. You could also fry it out, or make an exact copy, or fry it out and carry another with you to pass yourself of for somebody you're not. So this technology isn't just not failsafe, it provides ample oppertunity for abuse in the current age of identity theft as well.
I know it's going to happen sooner or later, and it worries me, and it fascinates me ...
The diamond age is coming.