Over one hundred employees at a firm in Stockholm, Sweden, have agreed to insert microchips into their hands to allow their employer to monitor work hours and bathroom breaks.
Epicenter is offering to insert the grain-sized microchip into its employees free of charge via a syringe. The chip currently gives employees access to doors and photocopiers but reports say it will soon be a tool for employees to pay for items in the company cafe.
Patrick Mesterton, the co-founder and chief executive at Epicenter, said the chip is a major convenience.
“You can do airline fares with it, … you can also go to your local gym. So, it basically replaces a lot of things you have other communication devices for, whether it be credit cards, or keys, or things like that.”
Mesterton admitted he initially asked himself, “Why would I do this?” before suggesting the microchip plan.
“But then, on the other hand, I mean, people have been implanting things in their body, like pacemakers and stuff, to control their heart,” he said.
Ben Libberton, a microbiologist from a Swedish research organization, said ultimately the chip could be used to collect a lot of personal information, such as how many hours an employee is working and how many bathroom breaks they are taking.
“Conceptually, you could get data about your health, you could [get] data about your whereabouts, how often you’re working, how long you’re working … if you’re taking toilet breaks and things like that,” he said. “All of that data could conceivably be collected.”
Some employees at the firm have said they inserted the chip because they want to be “part of the future.”
“I usually lose a lot of things like my keys,” said Sandra Haglof. “So, this will give me access and help me a lot more.”
The process has been in place for some time in Sweden. Below is a video from 2015 reporting on an office which has their employees to be microchipped in order to gain access to the office.
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