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亲身体验人体植入微芯片的好与坏

更新时间:2018-3-18 10:05:48 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The surprising truths and myths about microchip implants
亲身体验人体植入微芯片的好与坏

The tiny bump on the back of Dave Williams’ hand is barely noticeable — most people would miss the rice-grain-sized lump between his thumb and forefinger at first. It is only when the 33-year-old opens his front door with a wave of his hand that it becomes clear something strange is going on.

很少有人注意33岁的戴夫·威廉姆斯(Dave Williams)手背上鼓起一个小包——多数人都不会看到他拇指和食指之间那个米粒大小的肿块。只有当他挥一挥手就打开前门的时候,人们才会明显感觉有些奇怪。

Embedded under Williams’ skin is a microchip implant — an electronic circuit inside a pill-shaped glass capsule — that can be used much like a contactless credit card.

威廉姆斯的皮下植入了微芯片——其实是个装在玻璃胶囊里面的电子电路——使用起来很像免接触信用卡。

Williams, a systems engineer at software firm Mozilla, is one of a growing number of so-called “biohackers” who are choosing to augment their bodies with technology. In Williams’ case, he chose to implant a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip into his hand out of curiosity.

威廉姆斯是软件公司Mozilla的一名系统工程师,也是日益壮大的所谓"生物黑客"群体中的一员,他们希望借助科技来增加自己身体的功能。具体到威廉姆斯,他因为好奇而向手中植入射频识别芯片(RFID)。

The procedure has essentially turned him into a walking contactless smart card. By registering the tag with a variety of devices, he can use it to trigger certain functions, such as transferring his contact details to a friend’s mobile phone.

这个手术把他的手变成了一张免接触智能卡。通过向多种设备注册这个标签,他就能直接触发特定功能,例如将自己的联系信息发送到朋友的手机上。

Another level of convenience

更加便利

“I have the world's worst memory,” says Williams. The fact that he now has a gadget on him at all times that opens doors and unlocks his computer — one that he can’t leave at home or forget — is a huge advantage. “It's also fun to give someone my number and email address by touching their phone to my hand.”

"我拥有全世界最差的记忆。"威廉姆斯说。他现在拥有一个随时都能打开门和电脑的设备,而且不会落在家里,也不会丢失——这已经成为一个巨大的优势。"我只要动手触摸一下别人的手机,就能把我的号码和电子邮箱发送给他们,这也很有趣。"

This new level of convenience is one of the biggest draws for those installing implantable RFID implants, and the number of people experimenting with the devices is growing. One manufacturer of the chips, Dangerous Things, told CNBC last year that it had sold more than 10,000 of them, along with the kits needed to install them under the skin. But as they become more widespread, concerns are growing about what the trend might mean for personal privacy and security.

这种便利是可植入射频识别芯片带来的最大好处之一,而尝试这种设备的人数也在增加。射频识别芯片制造商Dangerous Things去年对CNBC表示,他们已经卖出了大约1万多个这种芯片,另外还包括将其安装到皮下的配件。但随着普及范围越来越广,人们也越来越担心这种趋势可能对个人隐私和安全造成的影响。

This week, a vending machine company based in River Falls, Wisconsin, announced that it is offering to implant chips into its employees’ hands. Three Square Market says a $300 (£230) chip will allow workers to open doors, log in to computers and even purchase food in their canteen. Already 50 employees have signed up to have an implant.

最近,威斯康星河瀑市(River Falls, Wisconsin)的一家自动售货机公司宣布,他们将向员工提供一种可以植入手中的芯片。Three Square Market公司表示,这样一个300美元(230英镑)的芯片可以让员工打开大门,登录电脑,甚至在食堂打饭。已经拥有50名员工签字接受芯片植入。

They’re not the only ones to do so. Cincinnati-based video surveillance firm CityWatcher embedded the gadgets under the skin of two employees in 2006, and technology incubator EpiCentre said it would be offering the chips to its members in Stockholm earlier this year.

这并非个例。辛辛那提(Cincinnati)的视频监控公司CityWathcer也于2006年在两名员工的皮下植入芯片,而科技孵化器EpiCenter表示,他们将于今年早些时候为其斯德哥尔摩的员工提供这种芯片。

BioHax International, which is supplying the chips to Three Square Market, says dozens of other firms around the world — including some multinationals — are looking to implement similar schemes in their workplaces.

为Three Square Market公司提供芯片的BioHax International公司表示,世界各地还有几十家其他公司——包括一些跨国公司——也希望在职场部署类似的机制。

The trend has sparked alarm over whether wireless implants could be used to keep tabs on employees by tracking their movements, and civil liberties groups warn they could be used intrude upon privacy in other ways. Many of those already working with the implants, however, are baffled by this concern.

这种趋势也导致人们担心,体内植入的无线芯片是否会用于追踪员工的活动,从而对其展开监视。而公民自由团体也警告称,这些芯片可以用于其他方式侵犯隐私。已经在工作中使用这种芯片的人,则因为这种担忧而感到困扰。

The tech is nothing new

技术并不新颖

“It is pretty easy to pick up this kind of information on a person without an implant,” says Kevin Warwick, a professor of cybernetics and deputy vice-chancellor at Coventry University, who became one of the first people in the world to have an RFID chip surgically implanted into his forearm in 1998.

"即使没有植入芯片,也很容易了解人们这种信息。"考文垂大学(Coventry University)副校长、控制学教授凯文·沃维克(Kevin Warwick)说,他在1998年就成为全世界首批通过手术在胳膊中植入RFID芯片的人之一。

RFID technology is already attached to cargo, aeroplane baggage and products in shops. It’s used to microchip pets. Many of us carry it around with us all day in our wallets: most modern mobile phones are equipped with RFID, as are contactless cards, many metropolitan travel cards, and e-passports.

RFID技术已经用于货运、飞机行李和零售领域。它还被植入宠物体内。我们很多人的钱包里其实整天都带着这样的芯片:现代手机多数都配有RFID芯片,免接触卡和很多都市公交卡及电子护照也都附带这种芯片。

It’s not a huge leap from having this technology in our pockets to having it under our skin.  “The key point is It should be a choice for each individual,” cautions Warwick.  “If a company says we will only give you a job if you have such an implant, it raises ethical issues.”

把这种芯片从口袋转移到皮下并不是太大的跨越。"关键问题在于,这应该成为每个人自己的选择。"沃维克警告说,"如果一家公司说,你必须植入这种芯片才能获得工作,那就会引发道德问题。"

It is also worth remembering almost all of us carry a device with us every day that sends far more information about our movements and daily behaviour to companies like Google, Apple and Facebook than a RFID implant ever could.

不要忘记,我们几乎所有人都携带一款非常强大的设备,它们每天向谷歌、苹果和Facebook发送的关于我们的活动和日常行为的信息,远多于体内植入的RFID芯片。

“Mobile phones are much more dangerous to our privacy,” says Pawel Rotter, a biomedical engineer at AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków, Poland. “If hacked, phones can convert into the perfect spy with microphones, cameras and GPS. Compared to them, the privacy risks from RFID are really small.”

"手机对我们的隐私构成的危险更大。"波兰克拉科夫(Kraków, Poland)的AGH科技大学(AGH University of Science and Technology)生物医学工程师帕威尔·罗特(Pawel Rotter)说,"如果被黑,手机就能变成一个配有麦克风、摄像头和GPS的完美间谍。与之相比,RFID的隐私风险真的很小。"

Surveillance concerns about the chip on the back of his hand don’t worry Dave Williams as it can only be activated if placed a few centimetres from a reader. “Fears of GPS-style tracking are strictly science fiction at this point,” he says. He is also keen to emphasise that the procedure to implant it isn’t as gruesome as some might imagine.

戴夫·威廉姆斯并不太担心他手背中植入的芯片所产生的监控问题,因为只有在离阅读器几厘米远的地方才能将其激活。他说:"目前来看,人们担心的GPS那样的追踪风格都仅限于科幻小说。"他还强调称,植入手术的过程并不像一些人想象得那么可怕。

Williams installed his chip himself, using plenty of iodine to keep everything sterile. “There was almost no pain at all,” he says. “Removing the tag will be a little harder, but with a scalpel and pair of tweezers it's not a huge job.”

威廉姆斯本人也植入了芯片,并用大量的碘来保证所有的东西都是无菌的。"几乎没有疼痛,"他说,"去掉标签会更困难一些,但是借助解剖刀和镊子,这并不是一项艰巨的任务。"

Hacking and security concerns, however, are less easily hand-waved away. RFID chips can only carry a minuscule 1 kilobyte or so of data, but one researcher at Reading University’s School of Systems Engineering, Mark Gasson, demonstrated that they are vulnerable to malware.

然而,黑客和安全方面的担忧并非轻而易举就能解决。RFID芯片只能携带很少的数据,大约只有1KB左右,但是雷丁大学(Reading University)系统工程学院的研究员马克·贾森(Mark Gasson)却证明,它们很容易受到恶意软件的攻击。

Gasson had an RFID tag implanted in his left hand in 2009, and tweaked it a year later so that it would pass on a computer virus. The experiment uploaded a web address to the computer connected to the reader, which would cause it to download some malware if it was online.

2009年,贾森在他的左手上植入了一个RFID标签,并在一年后对其进行了调整,使其能够传播电脑病毒。该实验将一个网址上传到与阅读器相连的电脑上,导致它在上网后下载一些恶意软件。

“It was actually a surprisingly violating experience,” says Gasson. “I became a danger to the building’s systems.”

"这实际上是一个令人惊讶的破坏性体验,"贾森说,"我对大楼的系统构成了威胁。"

While regular workplace entry cards can be hacked too, the very attribute of an RFID implant that makes it so convenient — the fact that it can't be forgotten or left at home — is also its biggest drawback. When a subcutaneous gadget goes wrong, the experience can be far more harrowing.

虽然普通的工卡也可以被黑客攻击,但RFID植入物的特点使之非常方便——它不会被遗忘或留在家里——这同时也是它最大的缺点。当一个皮下装置出错时,可能带来更加痛苦的体验。

“Implantable technology can’t be easily removed or in this case even switched off,” Gasson says. “I felt like the implant was a part of my body, so there was a real feeling of helplessness when things weren’t right.”

"植入技术不能轻易移除,在这种情况下,甚至不能关闭,"贾森说,"我觉得植入物是我身体的一部分,所以当事情不对劲的时候,确实会有一种无助感。"

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