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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


News organizations reported in July 2017 that Three Square Market, a retail technology company in River Falls, Wis., microchipped its employees.

A reference to the chipping was made in an Aug. 26, 2023, social media post by a user with 22,000 followers.

Fifty of the 80 employees at Three Square Market, a provider of self-service break room vending machines, voluntarily agreed to be “chipped,” the reports said.

A microchip the size of a grain of rice was inserted in the hand. It allowed employees to get door access to enter the building, sign into their computer and pay for snacks by waving at a sensor.

In December 2022, Three Square Market was acquired for $41 million by Cantaloupe, a Pennsylvania digital payments and software company.

More than 50,000 people have chosen to receive this type of chipping, according to Zhanna Malekos Smith, a systems engineering professor at the U.S. Military Academy.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


CNBC: Why most of Three Square Market’s employees jumped at the chance to wear a microchip

New York Times: Microchip Implants for Employees? One Company Says Yes

BBC: Wisconsin company Three Square Market to microchip employees

Instagram: Aug. 26, 2023 Instagram post

Business Wire: Cantaloupe Acquires Three Square Market (32M)

The Hill: Human microchip implants take center stage

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Tom Kertscher joined as a Wisconsin Watch fact checker in January 2023 and contributes to our collaboration with the The Gigafact Project to fight misinformation online. Kertscher is a former longtime newspaper reporter, including at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who has worked as a self-employed journalist since 2019. His gigs include contributing writer for PolitiFact and sports freelancer for The Associated Press.