Georgians worried about having miniature computer circuits inserted into their bodies without their consent can rest a little easier now that their state lawmakers have taken action.
The state Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday for legislation that would prohibit involuntary implantation of microchips in any body part.
“By passing this bill, we are sending the message that Georgia is committed to upholding its citizens’ constitutional rights and protection of their person,” the bill's author, Sen. Chip Pearson (R-Dawsonville), said in a written statement. He said technology is moving fast and “we must be careful that it doesn’t come at the harm of citizens. The benefits of a microchip that can be internally implanted are also available in many external forms.”
The Senate voted 47-2 in favor of the bill.
The Internet is awash with rumors about the government inserting microchips into people's heads without their consent or knowledge. This bill would prohibit that.
If Senate Bill 235 becomes law, it would ban microchip implantation against a person's will regardless of that person's age.
The Microchip Consent Act of 2010 defines a "microchip" as "any microdevice, sensor, transmitter, mechanism, electronically readable marking, or nanotechnology that is passively or actively capable of transmitting or receiving information."
The legislation exempts pacemakers from its prohibition.
The act would amend the assault and battery portion of the Georgia code to make it illegal to require insertion in exchange for any benefit, including employment, promotion or "any means that causes a person to acquiesce."
The bill would make involuntary installations a misdemeanor, and it would establish penalties for unwanted insertions. It also would create guidelines for voluntary implantation and require that only physicians put microchips into people.