The vaccine passport has been the most talked about topic since the government introduced it on 6 August as a measure to combat the infection from Covid-19. With the new restrictions designed for the holidays, the confusion and the queues at pharmacies and drive-ins to undergo swabs and access to clubs and restaurants have increased. While no-vaxes continue their "battle" against the vaccine, a proposal from Sweden that is causing a lot of discussion: the use of a microchip to always carry the green pass with you.
Predictably, the news shocked many and unleashed the anger of many conspiracy theorists who were waiting for nothing more than a false step to accuse governments of wanting to control us. As usual, however, the reality is very different from what it may seem.
Green pass in a microchip? The proposal
The idea comes from a startup from Vedas, Epicenter , which has proposed a solution to always have the vaccination certificate with you. The goal is to be able to show your green pass faster, using a microchip instead of the QR Code . The system, as advanced by the startup, can be read and validated using NFC technology.
Implants are a very versatile technology that can be used for many different things, and right now it is very convenient to have the COVID passport always accessible on your implant.
Hannes Sjöblad, chief distibution officer of Epicenter
No more smartphones or paper, therefore, and very short waiting times. Just swipe your wrist or hand over a reader to get the pass and gain access to restaurants, theaters and meeting places. But when will the idea be put into practice?
Inserting the green pass in a subcutaneous microchip is, we underline, only a proposal from Epicenter, destined to be talked about and most likely not to be put into practice. At the moment, no government has taken the idea seriously : in addition to the enormous controversy it would unleash (and it has already done so, even if it is only an idea), there would be no economic interests behind this choice. The QR Code is a fast enough method, and no one feels the need to upset the green pass control process.
In any case, Epicenter wanted to inform that the technology is reversible . The microchip would be implanted with a syringe in the hand, on the wrist or between the fingers: a simple click to have any information with you. Similarly, the chip can be removed with little effort. However distant this idea may seem to us, Epicenter has already been putting it into practice for many years (but not for the green pass).
Epicenter and microchips
The Swedish startup is not new to microchips under the skin: already in 2015 Epicenter announced that it had implanted the devices to more than 100 employees. The chips are used as badges and door openers , but also for buying food and drinks from vending machines and for using printers or other devices in the office.
The timing with which Epicenter proposed a subcutaneous microchip for the green pass is truly terrible. On the other hand, the way the news was delivered made matters worse , sparking a non-existent scandal. The idea of the startup is not to be demonized, on the contrary: the use of microchips will probably be the future of companies, but it will take place gradually and with the necessary safety precautions.
In fact, even throughout Sweden this practice has already been in use for some years. Many citizens have already chosen this procedure to "speed up" daily activities : chips are used to store tickets, badges or season tickets, as well as health information and emergency contacts.
It is not clear if the startup has proposed the solution to make people talk about itself or why it really intends to follow this path. What is certain is that nothing else is being talked about and disinformation, as usual, spreads more than the virus.
The article Green passes in a microchip: some clarity on the new plot comes from Tech CuE | Close-up Engineering .