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Sweden Begin Microchipping Commuters To Pay For Their Train Journey

SJ rail controversial move raises privacy concerns

By: Daniel Newton  |@NeonNettle
 on 19th June 2017 @ 12.33pm
a swedish rail operator  a microchip into 100 of its customer s hands © press
A Swedish rail operator a microchip into 100 of its customer's hands

A Swedish rail operator has taken a controversial move by implanting a microchip into 100 of its customer's hands so they can pay for their journey without the use of a physical ticket.

The Technology, which has raised huge privacy concerns, has suggested data can be used to track people. SJ rail claims that their passengers will need to have the microchip already implanted as they don't do it themselves. 

Microchip implants in Sweden are nothing new, in April Neon Nettle reported that companies in Sweden had begun microchipping their workforces with RFID chips embedded under the skin, the first company implanted 150 of their staff with tracking devices.

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the technology has raised huge privacy concerns as data can be used to track people  © press
The technology has raised huge privacy concerns as data can be used to track people.

The DailyMail reports: Speaking to the Sun Online, Stephen Ray, press officer at SJ, said that the idea was put forward by a technology start-up in Stockholm called Epicenter, where many of the staff are already implanted with microchips.

While the scheme is currently only available in Sweden, the country's travel system uses the same Near Field Communication (NFC) as contactless bank cards, and London's oyster cards, suggesting it could be used further afield one day.

The futuristic project has not been without its hiccups, and has also generated concerns over passenger privacy.

One flaw in the system meant that rail staff would sometimes be shown a passenger's LinkedIn profile instead of their ticket information.
But Mr Ray reassured that the problem was quickly resolved, saying: 'That's why we call it a trial.'

Peter Dahlqvist, Head of SJ Business Sales said: 'SJ is already one of Sweden's most digital companies, so this new project could be started up very quickly.

'The microchip ticket is a good example of how we are happy to try out new ideas alongside customers and help to force the pace of digital development.'

There are currently no plans to bring the scheme to the UK.

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