There has been a lot of buzz about nationalizing driver’s licenses, and Real ID. The Swedes are taking it a step further and implanting chips in their hands. They see it as a convenience. Probably not going to be looked at the same way here.
Daily Mail has the story.
SJ Rail, a Swedish rail operator, claims that up to 100 of its customers are embedding microchip implants into their hands to pay for their journey.
The creepy technology raises security and privacy issues, as the data generated could be used to track people.
SJ Rail is not offering to microchip people itself, and passengers wanting to use the service must already have the futuristic technology.
Mircrochip implants are not new in Sweden, and an estimated 20,000 people already have them, using the devices to swipe in and out of the office, and even pay for food.
… The futuristic project has not been without its hiccups, and has also generated concerns over passenger privacy.
One flaw in the system meant that rail staff would sometimes be shown a passenger’s LinkedIn profile instead of their ticket information.
Earlier this year, the LA Times reported how microchipping is becoming “a thing.”
The small implants use near-field communication technology, or NFC, the same as in contactless credit cards or mobile payments. When activated by a reader a few inches away, a small amount of data flows between the two devices via electromagnetic waves. The implants are “passive,” meaning they contain information that other devices can read, but cannot read information themselves.
Ben Libberton, a microbiologist at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute, says hackers could conceivably gain huge swaths of information from embedded microchips. The ethical dilemmas will become bigger the more sophisticated the microchips become.
“The data that you could possibly get from a chip that is embedded in your body is a lot different from the data that you can get from a smartphone,” he says. “Conceptually, you could get data about your health, you could get data about your whereabouts, how often you’re working, how long you’re working, if you’re taking toilet breaks and things like that.”
Libberton said that if such information is collected, the big question remains of what happens to it, who uses it and for what purpose.
So far, Epicenter’s group of cyborgs doesn’t seem too concerned.
“People ask me, ‘Are you chipped?’ and I say, ‘Yes, why not?’” said Fredric Kaijser, the 47-year-old chief experience officer at Epicenter. “And they all get excited about privacy issues and what that means and so forth. And for me it’s just a matter of I like to try new things and just see it as more of an enabler and what that would bring into the future.”
Epicenter workers stage monthly events where attendees can receive the implant.