Thousands of Swedes are possibly exchanging privacy for convenience by having microchips the size of a grain of rice embedded under their skin so they can do a variety of things - from accessing buildings and riding the rail to obtaining etickets for events.
The chips, according to their supporters, are “largely protected from hacking,” NPR reported, but cited concerns by a privacy expert.
“While the possibilities of new technology can be exciting and create new convenience, consumers need to understand that these technologies could carry unforeseen risks, such as privacy breaches,” said privacy expert and Cubismi CEO Moira Schieke, a cancer imaging clinical and research radiologist. “Technological developments that interact with the human body and/or mind are moving faster that our systems to protect the public.”
Schieke pointed to IEEE’s new credentialing process, which she said is “aimed at creating the proper layers of protection to assure the public is not harmed by new technologies, that carry many new unforeseen risks that we have not had in the past. It’s all too new.”
She cautioned the “public needs to understand that they need to be particularly careful using new untested technologies, that expected systems at many levels are just not yet fully developed to protect consumers from all potential risks, including privacy —If you insert a chip under your skin, are you prepared to allow third parties to know ALL data that it could potentially transmit without your knowledge?”
If not, Schieke said, “don’t use it until you can be more confident you know the answer to that question.”
Meanwhile, in Sweden, chip providers, like Biohax International, are running low on chips as demand swells.