Dr Amir discusses the changes in Covid-19 testing rules
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A Swedish start-up tech company announced earlier this month that it invented a scannable microchip that is implanted in people’s arms and can display your COVID-19 vaccination status. This digital implant is designed to be embedded into people’s arms so your vaccine passport pops up when scanned.
While new in humans, this kind of technology is very common for household pets, where most of them are embedded with a microchip that reveals the animal’s medical history when scanned.
For the many people that would be sceptical of the device, the company assured that the implants are not tracking devices, and are only in use when they are scanned.
However, Paul McClure, the founder of a scannable medical card called MedTag, says other companies will be able to use the technology to track people.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr McClure explained: “Basically, the technology works on Near Field Communication (NFC).
The implant, which is embedded into the skin (Image: VIKEN KANTARCI/AFP via Getty Images)
UK startup says technology WILL be able to track your every move (Image: VIKEN KANTARCI/AFP via Getty Images)
“The chip is inert and is activated when an NFC reader is passed over it.
“Most smartphones are now NFC readers and can read the chip.
“So while the chip in itself does not allow you to be tracked, in reality, any venue which scans it can then use geolocation to record where you have been scanned/checked in.”
Mr McClure explained that MedTag uses this technology to help first responders find people who use the system to send out a distress signal if they require assistance.
COVID-19 cases in the UK on Wednesday (Image: Express)
He said: “Ours is developed for applications such as biking. If I’m biking and I’m incapacitated, it will give the first responder something to scan and basically give him my medical history.
According to MedTag’s website: “When your profile is accessed your emergency contacts instantly receive an alert with a geo-location of where the device was accessed.”
While both technologies work in a similar way, Mr McClure slammed the use of technology to track users.
He added: “The concern that I have is that this is fine if you have a relatively benign government.
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When you scan the implant, your vaccination certificate will pop up (Image: VIKEN KANTARCI/AFP via Getty Images)
While the chip itself is inert, your data can be tracked every time you scan in to a location (Image: VIKEN KANTARCI/AFP via Getty Images)
“But if you’re in a country where having political associations and so on is problematic, you could be basically arrested for who you associate with.
“When the developer said that this cannot be used to track your location- yes it absolutely can, but not on its own.
“With the right technology scanning it, it can 100 percent track your location at that point in time.
“But in an environment where you actually have to mandatorily show a covid pass in order to get inside a venue, at that point in time it absolutely can tell where you are.”
In a way, both of these technologies track your location and data to a much lesser degree than your GPS enabled smartphone, which can track your real-time location, not just when you scan it somewhere.