The Human Microchip
The practice of embedding humans with microchips may sound like a plot from the dystopian drama Black Mirror but the truth is we aren’t all that far away from this becoming the norm. A group of biohackers in Sweden have taken this technology onboard and have implanted themselves with microchips.
Biohacking is the application of IT hacks to biological systems with the intention of improving life quality and living capabilities. One branch of biohackers, transhumanists mostly focus on enhancing and improving the human body and the human race by bettering ourselves. (This is where microchipping comes in). Biohacking generally varies from country to culture with European biohackers focusing on finding ways to help developing countries and artistic bio projects. However, Sweden has other ideas…
Over the past 20 years, Swedish Government has invested heavily in technology infrastructure. This has helped to reinforce the Swedish belief in digital technology which has then strongly affected Swedish culture and its views on developing technology.
Roughly 3,500 Swedish transhumanists known as ‘grinders’ have been experimenting with microchipping technology and have each had an NFC (Near Field Communication) implant surgically inserted into their hands between the thumb and forefinger.
These microchips are the same kind of microchips which have been used for decades for tracking parcels and animals, much like the microchips we give to our pets. The chip acts as a digital keychain, it will allow us to carry out a variety of actions such as contactless payments, travel passes and key cards for unlocking doors and overtime the uses for the chip will certainly increase as the technology improves, we will be able to do more.
However, unlike the tech loving Swedes not everyone is, or will immediately be on board with this technology as many people will see the human microchip as a data security nightmare.
The introduction of microchip tech will give large corporations the ability to have an increased amount of control over you since most of this technology will be offered thorough them. Although the microchip does not contain GPS, it’s just a matter of time before they will have the ability to track your location, work out where you shop regularly even how long you spend d in the bathroom.
Moreover, opting out of data collection won’t be easy, especially as you will have the chip implanted within you bodily tissue. But as with all technology, there is no way that your data can always be 100% safe. NFC chips can be hacked using a specialised reader and advanced coding skills, and this is the level some people will go to in order to make personal gains.
So although the thought of us living our day to day lives using nothing but a microchip to pay, travel and open doors seems pretty cool, at the moment, it’s a whole other lifetime away.