March 1, 2010

Some Germans Okay On Microchip Implants

In a poll released Monday, one in four Germans said they would be happy to have a microchip implanted in their body if solid benefits were gained from having it.

German IT lobby group BITKOM conducted the survey to show the differences in the real life of now and the virtual world of tomorrow, which is one of the main themes at the CeBIT trade fair that starts on Tuesday.

Of the nearly 1,000 respondents to the survey, 23 percent of them said they would be prepared to receive a microchip implant under the skin "for certain benefits". About 16 percent said they would allow an implant if they knew it would help emergency services rescue them more quickly in the event of an accident. 1 in 20 people said they would allow the implant if it made their shopping go more smoothly.

In sharp contrast, 72 percent said they would not allow electronics in their body "under any circumstances".

"This is of course an extreme example of how far people can imagine networks going," said BITKOM chief August-Wilhelm Scheer.

The doors open Tuesday for CeBIT, the world's biggest high-tech fair. This year's guest of honor is the current EU president from Spain. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero are due to speak at the official opening ceremony later Monday before taking a tour of the exhibitions early Tuesday.

4,157 firms from 68 countries are expected to unveil their latest high-tech gadgets. This is a three percent decline from last year as many firms are backing out due to strong competition from other events.


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