News website euronews.com published a story about microchips in Sweden. Last update was introduced on 15th of May 2020. Journalist Pascale Davies wrote: “Thousands of people in Sweden are inserting tiny microchips under their skin”. The claim turns out to be true.
Microchips implanted into one’s body are supposed to make daily life convenient. They open a perspective to replace traditional keys, cards, IDs, and even train tickets with a microchip.
Despite how futuristic this information sounds in 2018 Business Insider published another article with attached video from AFP showing that state-owned SJ –national Swedish railway- started scanning hands of passengers with biometric chips to collect their train fare.
Moreover, the article described “implant parties” organised since 2014 by Swedish biohacking group Bionyfiken. Implant parties are the type of gatherings where people can voluntarily get a microchip plugged.
To exemplify the significance of microchips in Sweden, it’s worth to mention the book called „The Swedish Chipping Phenomenon” published by Lund University in 2019. The author, Moa Petersén mentions that „ Sweden is an unique example of a country where microchipping was accepted on its social level.” In her publication we can also find some data on the number of microchips which were inserted between 2014-2018. Moa Petersén described an event from 2017 covered by Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.
The source reports -“The microchipping in Almedalen was organized by the Swedish state-owned train company Statens Järnvägar (SJ), and the politician Karin Svensson Smith, then chairman of the government’s traffic committee. The fact that approximately 5,500 Swedes have inserted similar microchips into their hands between 2014 and 2018 has attracted great international attention.”
Additionally, to examine if the statement “Thousands of people in Sweden are inserting tiny microchips under their skin” is reliable we asked the founders of Chipster A Swedish company, which specializes in inserting implants, shared some valuable information concerning the issue. One of the co-founders Sina Amoor Pour stated – “There are approximately 6000 Swedes in total that have a chip. These are all the people that have been getting a chip since 2014.“
However what Sina Amoor points out: the key factor is placing this information in the perspective of time. The Swedish biohacker explained that “in average 1000 people have been getting the chip per year since 2014. But also you need to take into account that this was a lot more popular in 2014-2016 since it was a new thing and a lot of media were reporting on it. Since then the rate of people getting a chip has declined”. This leads to the following conclusion: although, statement from Pascale Davies article is true, the headline might be misleading. It suggests that the trend is increasing lately. Which according to Sina Amoor above mentioned statement it is gradually declining since 2016.
To sum up, we can examine that statement -thousands of Swedish have microchips inserted under their skin- is true. By this year there are about 6000 Swedish who have been chipped. Nevertheless, it is not a new trend and reached its peak in years 2014-2016.
RESEARCH | ARTICLE: Kornelia Starczewska, Maciej Polcyn, Wael Nel