Microchip bill clears House committee

A House committee gave its stamp of approval Tuesday to a bill that would make it unlawful to implant a microchip in a person without permission.

The bill, which now goes to the full House, would make it a misdemeanor to implant a microchip, sensor, transmitter or tracking device into individuals against their will.

The measure is being sponsored by Sen. Chip Pearson (R-Dawsonville) and Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) and has already cleared the state Senate.

Rep. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth), who is carrying the bill in the House, acknowledged before the Judiciary Committee late Tuesday that there’s no evidence that microchip technology is being massively abused and being implanted in people against their will.

Proponents say that implantable chips could help in identifying victims of major tragedies such as the Sept. 11 terror attacks or the Haitian earthquake, or even wandering Alzheimer’s patients.

Pearson’s bill does not prevent anyone from being able to have a microchip implanted voluntarily — as long as the implantation is performed by a doctor and is regulated by the Georgia Composite Medical Board.

If the bill clears the House and is signed by the governor, Georgia would join California, North Dakota and Wisconsin as states that have passed laws prohibiting the forced implantation of microchips in people.

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