More than 4,000 Swedes have chosen to be implant microchips into their body. These microchips contain detailed identity information. Some experts have raised concerns about privacy and the possibility of “being hacked” by malicious entities. But so far, the mood has remained fairly optimistic and open to this rapidly expanding technology.
What is the microchip technology like?
The microchips utilize the Near Field Communication (NFC) technology that is widely used in enabling two devices to communicate and exchange information wirelessly. Most smartphone devices manufactured today are NFC-enabled, and powers modern-day conveniences like that Apple Pay and Google Pay. Many cities around the world have also adopted this technology in their transit systems so you can easily tap the sensor to complete payment.
How does it work?
The microchips are really small, the current model by Biohax International is only 2×12 mm, and inserted under the skin above the user’s thumb. It costs around $180 (£140). The microchip itself doesn’t need a power source to work. Users can simply hold up their hands near a digital reader to activate it. The amount of information shared also depends on what the user is trying to do. The digital reader for building access will only share the User ID verify their access level. It is also a very good networking tool, as you can touch someone else’s smartphone and share your LinkedIn details seamlessly. The microchip allows for easy payments as well, so that you don’t have to carry around your bank cards.
Why is there such a large-scale adoption in Sweden?
A lot of Swedes seem to value the convenience over personal privacy. This could be attributed to the widespread adoption of advanced technologies or to the national personal data sharing policies. For instance, anyone could find each others’ salary information by contacting the tax authority. This might have helped ease the Swedes’ transition to microchips which can allow for the sharing of personal data. Additionally, it should be noted that most of the early wave of adopters have been from the tech startup communities. This demographic is familiar and comfortable with cutting-edge technologies.