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Captain Cyborg pushes kid chipping via Maddy abduction case

'It would not be difficult'

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It is with heavy heart and grim sense of inevitability that The Register and its long-time readers note the attachment of the Captain Cyborg agenda to the McCann abduction investigation.

Under the headline "Would an implanted chip help to keep my child safe?", The Times reports that laughable Reading University Professor Kevin Warwick has been "bombarded with emails over the past few days from parents desperate to keep tabs on their children".

Warwick last entered a missing child media scrum after the Soham murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman. Back then he was slammed by charities, the sane, and us, and powered down his robotic claws, but not before he'd recruited unfortunate 11-year-old Danielle Duval as a volunteer.

The tweenage guinea pig never went through with Warwick's child-tracking experiment. Her parents didn't want to comment this time.

The borg's unrepentant earthly advance party opined: "There were ethical concerns, and as a scientist you have to listen."

But after "listening" it seems Britain's numero uno cybernetic heretic thinks events in Portugal mean 2007 could be the year of the kiddie chip.

He reckons that if public hysteria can be fermented to the right level, it would "not be difficult" to make implants available nationally "in a relatively short period of time".

Indeed, The Times agrees that child-tracking devices will "almost certainly have a surge in sales over the next few weeks". Look out, eBay.

We'll leave it to Michelle Elliot, director of the child protection charity Kidscape, to have the last word: "We have 11 million children in the UK. For the past 25 years between five and seven children have been abducted and killed by a stranger each year, and that has not changed. Are we becoming paranoid to the point where we give children the message that life is so dangerous that they have to be tagged?" ®

Bootnote

Newcomers to the wonderful world of Kevin Warwick are welcome to peruse the history of Captain Cyborg versus El Reg below in related stories, going as far back as we can stomach.

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