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Giving Meaning to RFID and Cochlear Implants

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3 Author(s)
Wagemakers, S. ; Tilburg Univ., Tilburg, Netherlands ; Van Zoonen, L. ; Turner, G.

In this article, we focus on people such as Randall and Edith; people who have either a cochlear implant for hearing improvement or a RFID implant. Both types of implants have caused controversy. The main opposition to CIs comes from the deaf community itself, which with the capital D signifies this minority culture. Deaf people consider themselves a socio-linguistic minority culture with sign language as their language [1]. They argue that CI undervalues the identity of being deaf: there is nothing wrong with being deaf, they are not disabled, and they do not need to be fixed. Controversies about RFID implants are more diverse and come from different groups: they include medical issues [2], [3], worries about physical assault [4], issues with privacy and the security of the collected data [3]-[7], a fear for dehumanization [3], and worries from Christians who consider the tag to be the “Mark of the Beast” as described in the book of Revelation [8].

Published in:

Technology and Society Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:33 ,  Issue: 2 )