They’re in your credit cards, access cards and keyless car entry. They’re even in your clothes, your passport and maybe your pet. But are implanted microchips in your best interest? The ubiquitous RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip is touted as a tool with invaluable medical applications by its supporters and denounced as the death knell for personal privacy by its critics. TAGGED introduces us to the debate raging between the two camps and to Mark Stepanek, a young member of the tech-obsessed fringe keen to embrace RFID as a new way of life.
Mark looks forward to getting an RFID implant so that he can throw away his door key and open his apartment door with merely a wave of his hand. But despite the assurances of advocates like Verichip CEO Scott Silverman, RFID Toys author Amal Graafstra and personal recommendations from several satisfied customers, a host of naysayers oppose the practice of implanting RFID chips in people.
Leading critics interviewed in TAGGED include Bruce Schneier of Wired Magazine, consumer advocate Katherine Albrecht (author of Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Purchase and Watch Your Every Move), author Peter de Jager, and University of Alberta professor Kevin Haggerty, a specialist on surveillance technology, who discuss the philosophical, political and medical issues surrounding this controversial issue.
TAGGED is playful, smart and engaging, stealthily tapping into a widespread sense of unease raised by this technological development. Wisely, it lets the audience be the judge. Is it “hip to be chipped,” as a proposed Verichip marketing slogan claims, or could a wave of the hand unlock not just the door to your home but a Pandora’s box of privacy and civil liberty concerns?
"This good short film uses one young man’s quest to get a computer chip implanted in his body as the narrative structure to explore issues about technology, privacy, power, and personhood." —Anthropology Review Database
"Filmmakers Cohen and Gallay take a balanced look at the emerging phenomenon of radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging in humans. TAGGED should strike a chord with viewers who are interested in emerging technology, politics, and privacy."— Library Journal