A post by Pat
If you throw out your leftover fish in the U.K., the chips will know it. The latest from the land of CCT, surveillance drones, ID cards and the world’s largest DNA database — microchips in your trash can to keep track of how much you throw away.
It’s the new front in the nanny state: Microchips placed in garbage bins to monitor how much people throw away.
A pro-privacy group [Big Brother Watch] warns in a new report that more than 2.6 million of the chips have been surreptitiously installed in what is seen as a first step toward charging those who toss too much. Proponents say it’s a bid to push recycling. Opponents say it stinks.
A government official says the chips will be useful to reward people who reduce household trash. The program, according to the government, is intended to encourage recycling. Many people expect they will be fined for throwing away more than some bureaucratic allotment of trash.
The chips haven’t been activated yet. There’s a concern the program won’t be popular. Maybe because not everyone has gone balmy in the crumpet over there. When this kind of monitoring was tried in Ireland, people started to burn their garbage instead of throw it away. Only their garbage?
“It’s voluntary, not compulsory,” he said. “A compulsory plan would not work. We’ve managed to persuade the people of Bristol to participate in the recycling program. We want to encourage the people who aren’t using it to join in as well.”
The government’s ambitious information-gathering plans go still further. Security officials working on counterterrorism plans have lobbied for greater powers to track every e-mail, text, and phone call made in the U.K. The country already maintains an extensive DNA database that is, per capita, the largest in the world.
Come on Brits, how about getting a chip on your shoulder?