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How do microchips that are implanted under your skin and allow you to pay without cash or cards – BBC News

The small impact on Dave Williams' back is about the size of the rice grain and is between thumb and forefinger. He is hardly perceptible, but when he opens the door of his house with him, he becomes the center of attention.

This British software engineer who works for Mozilla has a microchip, an electronic circuit in the form of tablets that works with wireless technology.

"I have a very bad memory," the BBC said. That's why he decided to implant a small device that would allow him to forget the panic if he forgot the keys of the house.

It's the same kind of chips they get Fashion in Sweden and in other Western countries as Germany, Australia and New Zealand, where several initiatives to support this futuristic technology have taken place.

Special attention is paid to Sweden. Thousands of people in the Nordic nation – some 3000, according to the AFP report of May this year – microchips have already been inserted. Though the likelihood will be even higher.

"More and more people in Sweden implant RFID chips into their hands and use them unlock the door, "carry" tickets train and even payments"says BBC World Ben Libberton, a microbiologist at the MAX IV Lund lab in southern Sweden.

Microchips have the grain size of rice.

"Convenient" system

RFID, unlike a barcode, allows remote access to the information it contains. It is used in anti-theft tags, in ski resorts and also in"identification chips" for pets,

They are also implemented in most smartphones and contactless cards as well as in electronic passports.

In recent years, however, its use has increased in humans. Sweden is leading the trend.

The theme began creating subtitles in 2015when Epicenter, based in Stockholm, caused some controversy by announcing that it is about to implant chips for its workers.

With the wrist turned, employees could access the building, use a copier or pay for coffee.

"The greatest benefit is comfort", said co-founder and director of Patrick Mesterton in 2017. "It allows you to replace many things like a credit card or keys."

an employee of Epicenter
Chips can be used to activate a photocopy.

Pay manually

The chips allow for implementation payments contactless (without contact), a practice specially supported in Sweden, where barely 1% of all transactions made in 2016 were made with cash.

Some of these transactions are carried out on trains.

National Railway Company SJ – the largest in the country – It's the first in the world to accept this type of payment.

When a explorer passes, some passengers put their hand close to their application smartphoneThe ticket car seems to be a thing of the past.

contactless micro-chip payment on a train from Sweden
On this train you can pay for your hand.

Any person who has such a microchip in hand must register before the company to obtain a number and pay.

Stephen Ray, communications director at SJ, knows the system very well because he himself has a microchip implanted under the skin of his hand.

In this way, the screen of the reviewer's mobile phone shows that the passenger paid the ticket and shows his number and his name.

microchip implanted in hand
The microchip is placed under the skin between your forefinger and thumb.


"The only information that SJ reads from microchip tickets is the membership number in the SJ loyalty program," says Ray BBC Mundo.

"This number it is not considered confidential and customer privacy is guaranteed from our point of view, "he adds.

Currently, this technology is used in your company for regional travel only. But the plan is that it concerns much more.

However, Ray explains it "it will never be mandatory" to implant these chips for their customers and that "they are only consideredoptional servicewhich we still consider to be a test project ".

Stephen Ray
Stephen Ray from the SJ train station has an implanted chip in his hand.

Stephen says that this initiative should be extended to other areas (and other payments) of everyday life, such as a credit card.

However, nobody supports microchips or have such an optimistic outlook.

"This technology reduces the number of cards and devices they need, miniaturizes them immensely, making it impossible to lose," says Libberton BBC Mundo.

But the microbiologist warns that he fears that the chips can interfere with the privacy and safety of those who use them.

"Because these chips are integrated into multiple digital services, they reveal more data if compromised. It's a weak point in terms of security, " explains.

"Imagine if you use it to unlock the house or house access to a bank account, I'm afraid its comfort will make it easier to browse important data. "

Leave the question in the air: "The risks will get even bigger when they get started biological data to the chips. If the company knows more than you about your own health, What are the ethical implications and who decides on the rules? ", he concludes.

Microchip next to a wooden match
Their size is small, but they can contain a large amount of data.

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