Friday, December 11, 2009

VeriChip’s Merger With Credit Monitoring Firm Worries Privacy Activists

By Penn Bullock

Remember VeriChip, the Florida company that once dreamed of injecting its human-implantable RFID microchips in everyone from immigrant guest workers to prison inmates?

We haven’t heard much from the company since a dipping stock price nearly got it delisted from the NASDAQ in March. But it’s still alive, and in November it pulled off a seemingly incongruous acquisition. Now called PositiveID, the new company is a merger between VeriChip and Steel Vault, the people behind

With a human-implantable microchip maker now running a credit-scoring and identity-theft-protection website, privacy activists are worried again. “The attraction to investors is the potential for synergies,” says Mark Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington. “You have to anticipate over time there will be an attempt to integrate the services.”

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