The Swedish State Railways has decided to accept under-the-skin RFID tag implants for ticket purchases, arguing it enhances ticketless travel better than having your ticket in your mobile. Actually, they didn’t argue that at all. They just said “we’re digital” and “it works” as if that would justify the rest.

Sweden is a European state which, until recently, celebrated the fact that people were able to travel between European and Nordic countries without a passport or other identification papers. Since a few years back, the governmental train company, which operates with all the efficiency of one, changed all that on its own — by requiring photo ID to take the train just to the next city. The official reason for going all papieren, bitte on people just going to the next town was to “prevent the second-hand sale of attractive tickets”.

This company — the Swedish State Railways — has an insanely bad reputation in the country, known for never arriving on time and for mediocre service. To paint a picture of the service level, the company offers some compensation if passengers get more than an hour delayed with a local train (within the European state of Sweden).

This is the company now priding itself on “being digital” and announcing an extremely privacy-invasive method for travel. It may well be that it’s more convenient. That’s obviously not where the cause for concern is.

“We will never force somebody to have a chip implanted”, says Stephan Ray, press spokesperson for the State Railways.

I wish I could believe this — for this has been the standard line every single time a new privacy invasion has been presented. And there’s a catch which sounds all too familiar:

“We don’t rule out giving special advantages to travelers with under-the-skin RFID chips,” Ray adds.

At what point does this translate to putting ridiculous burden on people without under-skin RFID tags, even if it will technically not require them to implant? That’s usually a few years before the option is taken away altogether, judging from history.

As a final note, the article from the Stockholm local paper also notes that the local buses, trams, and subways are also seeking to start using passenger under-skin-RFID-tags for travel. Yes, you read that right: people in Sweden are seriously considering under-skin RFID tags to be a nice, cozy form of bus and subway ticket.

Fortunately, this is not something that would go over well in other European states. If I were to describe the Swedish attitude to this in a few words, I would choose “trusting and naïve”. This is in stark contrast to other states — say, Germany — which take privacy extremely seriously: Berlin’s ticket vending machines to the local public transport sell paper tickets for cash, and it would be inconceivable to remove that option, as was done a long time ago in Sweden (where you can instead buy identified tickets to your identified phone using an identified credit card).

As a final note, the image to this article shows animal tags. That’s because it’s the technology used. “Tagged like an animal” is quite literal. There’s also the concern of malware infecting such chips, which has been proven possible – and with RFID technology, the malware could spread quickly.

Privacy remains your own responsibility.

Source: https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/2017/05/train-tickets-rfid-tags-europe/

Sweden's state-owned rail operator SJ is allowing passengers to use microchip implants rather than conventional tickets. 
The idea is currently being trialed just among some SJ members. It means all they need to travel is their left hand and the small microchip implanted in it. Authorities believe implanting the microchip will make the train journey more convenient.

SJ claims to be the first travel company in the world to enable passengers to use microchip implants to validate their tickets. The small implants use Near Field Communication technology, the same tech used in contactless credit cards or mobile payments. 

Implanting microchips under the skin is becoming increasingly popular in Sweden. But experts warn there are security and privacy issues to consider.

Source: http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2017/06/12/525048/microchip-implants-Swedish-railway

A few months ago, a Swedish company gained international headlines after launching an internal program under which staff were encouraged to have themselves implanted with security micro-chips.

Now, in a sign the technology is catching on, Sweden's state-run public transport provider "SJ" has got in on the action.

It's now allowing commuters to travel on its trains with just a wave of their hand.

Featured:

Stephen Ray, spokesman for Sweden's Rail Provider SJ
Lina Edstrom, spokeswoman for Sweden's Rail Provider SJ
Ben Libberton, microbiologist, Karolinska Institute

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-12/swedens-state-rail-provider-waves-through/8611244

"GET READY Australia: You can now board a plane using a chip in your hand.

Andreas Sjöström, the vice president of a Paris-based tech firm, has successfully completed an experiment which allowed him to board a flight using only a chip implanted in his hand to pass through the airport.

A near-field communication chip can communicate with an NFC (Near Field Communication) reading device to transmit information.

It’s similar to the technology that, only last October, tech developer Patric Lanhed used to make digital payments.

Sjöström documented his trip to the airport in which he was able to pass from security all the way to his flight using only the information stored under his skin. He even managed to access an airport lounge by simply waving his palm."

More here: http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-advice/flights/now-you-can-board-a-plane-just-by-waving-your-hand/news-story/12bc677a48c629e5742ebebae848d5f4

"You're at the Westin Grand in Berlin having a luxurious vacation. After finishing a delicious bowl of mushroom consommé -- chanterelles are in season, after all -- you stroll up the lavish center staircase toward your room. Having left wallets in the past, you simply hover your Apple Watch over the door. "Click!" And that's that. Magnetic plastic cards are so uncivilized.

This is the future Apple imagines for you with its new Watch, and it's working with Starwood Hotels (the group that owns Westin, among others) to make that future a reality. And that's just one of several scenarios for Apple Watch that were introduced by Apple VP Kevin Lynch during a third-party app demo on stage in Cupertino, California."

"Beyond Starwood, American Airlines is also working on Apple Watch -- both are usingWatchKit, the software toolkit Apple built for third-party app development. The specific context wasn't given for its use with American, but one can easily imagine using Apple Watch as your electronic boarding pass."

Read more

 http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/09/apple-watch-apps/

http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/09/apple-watch-apps/

 http://www.tuaw.com/2014/04/30/kwikset-kevo-using-your-iphone-to-lock-and-unlock-doors/

http://www.tuaw.com/2014/04/30/kwikset-kevo-using-your-iphone-to-lock-and-unlock-doors/

 http://www.tuaw.com/2014/04/30/kwikset-kevo-using-your-iphone-to-lock-and-unlock-doors/

http://www.tuaw.com/2014/04/30/kwikset-kevo-using-your-iphone-to-lock-and-unlock-doors/

 http://www.tuaw.com/2014/04/30/kwikset-kevo-using-your-iphone-to-lock-and-unlock-doors/

http://www.tuaw.com/2014/04/30/kwikset-kevo-using-your-iphone-to-lock-and-unlock-doors/

Hmm... Uber.com 2009; uberveillance 2006...

Read more

"In San Francisco, Uber has become its own noun — you “get an Uber.” But to make it a verb — to get to the point where everyone Ubers the same way they Google — the company must outperform on transportation the same way Google does on search.

No less than Google itself believes Uber has this potential. In a massive funding round in August led by the search giant’s venture capital arm, Uber received $258 million. The investment reportedly valued Uber at around $3.5 billion and pushed the company to the forefront of speculation about the next big tech IPO — and Kalanick as the next great tech leader.

The deal set Silicon Valley buzzing about what else Uber could become. A delivery service powered by Google’s self-driving cars? The new on-the-ground army for ferrying all things Amazon? Jeff Bezos also is an Uber investor, and Kalanick cites him as an entrepreneurial inspiration. “Amazon was just books and then some CDs,” Kalanick says. “And then they’re like, you know what, let’s do frickin’ ladders!” Then came the Kindle and Amazon Web Services — examples, Kalanick says, of how an entrepreneur’s “creative pragmatism” can defy expectations. He clearly enjoys daring the world to think of Uber as merely another way to get a ride.

“We feel like we’re still realizing what the potential is,” he says. “We don’t know yet where that stops.”"