Sweden, a country once known for refusing to create COVID protocols, is now going to implement a vaccine passport program. One of the ways Swedes can show their vaccination status is by getting a small microchip inserted into their thumbs. While it may sound like science fiction, the story has been confirmed by NPR, who states that the chip is about the size of an uncooked grain of rice and costs $180 to have inserted.
On top of recording someone’s COVID vaccine status, these chips also can hold info like gym memberships, rail tickets, boarding passes, and more. Is this the new era of contactless entry, or the ultimate invasion of privacy?
In other parts of the world, like the USA, where COVID misinformation is rampant, and one of the biggest conspiracy theories involves the government wanting to insert chips into everyone, this kind of news is likely going to stoke fears among conservatives, play into already existing conspiracy theories, and be fodder for the talking heads on Fox News and Newsmax.
It’s important to remember that this technology coming out of Sweden wasn’t developed by an overbearing, Big Brother government, but by tech firms filled with passionate and inventive employees. The number of those who have the chips is quite small, with only about 6,000 of Sweden’s 10.3 million residents having the chips. However, with the announcement of the upcoming COVID vaccine passport for the nation, demand for the chips has skyrocketed and the chip’s makers are having trouble keeping up with demand.