ARTICLE

The Swedish Are Micro-Chipping Themselves By The Thousands

News Image By PNW Staff October 24, 2018
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Thousands of people in Sweden are microchipping themselves in an effort to make their daily lives easier and speed up their day but what are the long term consequences of such actions?

According to a report by NPR, the microchips can be used for a plethora of different things. The chips are designed to speed up users' daily routines and make their lives more convenient when accessing their homes, offices, and gyms. 

The microchips make it is as easy as swiping their hands against digital readers. The microchips can also be used to store emergency contact details, social media profiles, e-tickets for events, and rail journeys within Sweden.


At least one scientist is speaking out on the possible negative outcomes of having a massive number of people microchipped. Ben Libberton, a British scientist based in southern Sweden, is among those starting to campaign for lawmakers to keep a closer eye on developments. 

"What is happening now is relatively safe. But if it's used everywhere, if every time you want to do something and instead of using a card you use your chip, it could be very, very easy to let go of personal information," he says. Libberton, a trained microbiologist now working in science communication, says one of his main concerns is how the chips could be used to share data about our physical health and bodily functions.

"Because it's implanted in your body, when more health-related information starts being used and incorporated into the chip and being transmitted -- that could create an extra layer of privacy that we really need to look at and take care of before it's widely used," he says according to NPR.

So many in Sweden are signing up to be chipped that the main company producing the microchips says it cannot keep up with the demand for this technology. More than 4,000 Swedes have decided the technology would be perfect for them and have a microchip embedded in their hand, but with one company, Biohax International, dominating the market, demand is outpacing supply. 

The chipping firm was started five years ago by Jowan Österlund, a former professional body piercer. After spending the last two years working full time on the project, Österlund is currently developing training materials so he can hire Swedish doctors and nurses to help take on some of his heavy workloads.


"Having different cards and tokens verifying your identity to a bunch of different systems just doesn't make sense," Österlund says. "Using a chip means that the hyper-connected surroundings that you live in every day can be streamlined."

As a result of such changes the amount of hard cash in circulation has decreased by 40 percent in the last 7 years. Sweden is even beginning to look at doing away with physical money in favor of a completely digital currency which may include such a microchip under the skin.

Commuters in Sweden are an example of trading cash for convenience as several hundred have already been chipped to be able to use the SJ Rail transit system.  

The train conductor can then simply read the chip with a smartphone to confirm the passenger has paid for their journey. See the video below:


Although there are advantages to microchip technology, opponents have pointed out a wide range of risks and concerns that come along with it.
  
Infringement on Privacy

One of the main concerns about implanting microchips is that it infringes on personal privacy. Even if a person should volunteer for the implant, there is a good chance that they are not fully considering the level of privacy that they are giving up.  

Furthermore, as in the case with the company in Wisconsin, there could be a certain level of peer or other pressure that may force someone to "volunteer" for the implant.

Tracking 

Along with giving up some level of personal privacy, those that have a microchip implanted are also risking that they could be tracked.  Over the past few years, it has become more and more clear how much of our information is being tracked by the major Internet and social media companies.  


With microchips, depending on the chip's design and how it is programmed, a company could track even more of your daily life, including your location, how much time you spend sleeping, and what you spend your money on.  It also remains to be seen how this accumulation of data could be used against you in the future.  

There has already been proposals to use microchip implant tracking with criminals and immigration procedures and while these past proposals might have failed it is only a matter of time before they come up again.

Hacking

Another concern that many people have is that there will always be a risk of hacking into the microchips and databases.  Although microchip implants are considered to be very secure and difficult to break into, hackers always seem to be a step ahead of security measures.  

If someone is able successfully to hack into your microchip account, they may be able to replicate your chip.  In these situations, it would be incredibly easy for a hacker to easily steal your identity and make major purchases in your name. 
 
Big Brother

The fourth concern about microchip technology is that it is just the first step towards a "Big Brother" society that is depicted in the book "1984".  In the novel, all people in a fictional society are chipped and tracked on an ongoing basis, as there is an utter loss of freedom.  

Even though the current use of the microchips may seem extremely limited compared to the uses depicted in the novel, it clearly could be a first step in that terrifying direction. 

It is easy to see a few positive benefits to chipping.  Animals have long been chipped as a means of inventory and disease control, to say nothing of recovering lost or stolen pets. Persons with compromised mental capacity, e.g. Alzheimer's, who wander off and get lost could greatly benefit from having a chip.

An NBC News report last year asserted the microchipping of children will happen "sooner rather than later" due to parental safety concerns and that Americans will eventually accept the process as something just as normal as the barcode.

"It's not a matter of if it will happen, but when," electronics expert Stuart Lipoff told the network.

Pre-Conditioning For The "Mark" of Revelation

The Book of Revelation warns that during the Tribulation every person will be required to accept a mark which will signify worship of a one world leader and be necessary for commerce:  "And the second beast required all people small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark -- the name of the beast or the number of its name. Here is a call for wisdom: Let the one who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and that number is six hundred sixty-six". Revelation 13:16-18

Most Christians recognize that current chip implants are not the actual "mark of the beast", yet there is concern that acceptance of such technology is conditioning people for when the real one does come along.  

What often starts off as voluntary can just as easily become mandatory and whereas tech itself may be neutral, in the hands of the wrong person it could be extremely dangerous.  Imagine the technology of today in the hands of Hitler.

Christians have long debated the meaning of the "mark of the beast".  Our generation, however, appears to be the first to have the technology to fulfill this prophecy.

Soon, you may have to answer the question: 'would you get chipped'?




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