Dr Mark Gasson from the University of Reading is the first man in the world to become infected with a computer virus, as he inserted a contaminated computer chip into his hand to demonstrate the vulnerability of ID chips. Gasson showed that the chip was able to pass the virus to external control systems, and that it was capable of corrupting other implanted chips as well.
Dr Gasson admits that the test is a proof of principle but he thinks it has important implications for a future where medical devices such as pacemakers and cochlear implants become more sophisticated, and risk being contaminated by other human implants.
"With the benefits of this type of technology come risks. We may improve ourselves in some way but much like the improvements with other technologies, mobile phones for example, they become vulnerable to risks, such as security problems and computer viruses."
However, Dr Gasson predicts that wider use will be made of implanted technology.