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Swedish company offers a Covid pass through microchip implant


Is it a dystopian nightmare or “ just ” a convenience?

Amanda Back uses her smartphone to scan a microchip implanted in her hand to reveal her health pass (AFP/Viken KANTARCI)

In a country with thousands of early adopters, a Swedish company implanting microchips under the skin is promoting its devices for use as a Covid-19 health pass.

“I think it’s very much part of my own integrity to have myself chipped and keep my personal data there with me, I actually feel that it’s even more controlled on my end,” Amanda Back, a Stockholm resident who has had the DSruptive Subdermals subcutaneous chip implanted, told AFP.

With the chip implanted under your skin, you can’t forget to take it with you (AFP/Viken KANTARCI)

Though it is still uncommon, several thousand Swedish have chosen to have an electronic implant inserted beneath the skin in recent years, eliminating the need to remember key fobs, business cards, public transportation cards, and, more recently, vaccine passes.

The country that gave birth to the show “Real Humans” and its English-language adaptation “Humans” is also a stronghold for so-called biohackers, who believe that humans will become increasingly entangled with technology in the future.

In order to the data on the chip to be read a smartphone or other reader must placed very close (AFP/Viken KANTARCI)

“I have a chip implant in my arm and I have programmed the chip so that I have my Covid passport on the chip and the reason is that I always want to have it accessible and when I read my chip, I just swipe my phone on the chip and then I unlock and it opens up,” Hannes Sjoblad, managing director of DSruptive Subdermals, explained as a PDF with his vaccine certificate appeared on his phone.

“A chip implant costs a hundred euros if you want to buy the more advanced versions, and you can compare this with for example a health wearable that will cost perhaps twice that but at the same time a chip implant you can use for twenty, thirty, forty years. Whereas a wearable you can only use for three, four years,” he further explained.

For Sjoblad, the Covid pass is just one example of a possible application, which will be a “thing for the winter of 2021-2022”.

The implants only contain data and cannot be used as a tracking device (AFP/Viken KANTARCI)

The Swedish entrepreneur added he has a “strong interest in privacy.”

While he acknowledged that many “people see chip implants as a scary technology, as a surveillance technology”, Sjoblad said that instead they should be viewed as a simple ID tag.

“They don’t have a battery, they cannot transmit the signal by themselves, so they’re basically asleep, they can never tell your location, they are only activated when you touch them with your smartphone,” he said.

All implants are voluntary, and if someone were to make them compulsory for prisoners or elderly people in retirement homes, “you will find me on the barricades,” Sjoblad said.

“Nobody can force anyone to get a chip implant.”


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