Bill Gates, vaccines and RFID chips… why such an amalgam?

It is a persistent rumor circulating on social networks concerning Bill Gates: the American philanthropist would like to implant chips under the skin through vaccines. Why this conspiracy theory, which mixes several technical elements, does not hold water.

No, Bill Gates, despite the rumor, has no plans to implant a microchip through a vaccine to track all humans. As evidenced by a study by New York Times, the founder of Microsoft has become the scapegoat for countless American far-right conspiracy theories since the start of the coronavirus crisis.

Technically unrealistic

The fear of a chip under the skin that would allow us to permanently locate us – a theory relayed in particular on Instagram by the French actress Juliette Binoche – is absurd for several reasons. First, there is no geolocation technology, therefore by GPS, capable of operating without a large battery that we would recharge regularly (we can see the autonomy problems of our smartphones). Then there is no connection with vaccines.

This rumor comes from a clever mix of several things: vaccination campaigns in Africa funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a digital identity project for undocumented people, and MIT research on invisible ink. that would confirm that a person has been vaccinated.

RFID and the fear of subcutaneous chips

The rumors circulating about Bill Gates also evoke RFID. What is it about ? RFID (Radio frequency identification) are kinds of electronic labels. They can be found in supermarkets or in contactless badges for taking public transport. The fear undoubtedly comes from the fact that some people have had fun self-implanting this type of chip under the skin, for example, to avoid having to use their badge to enter the office.

It should be understood that these chips are passive. These are labels that must be read by a reader located a few centimeters maximum. They do not allow any geolocation.

Privacy issues

It is true, however, that these RFID chips raise privacy issues, as they may contain personal information. In France, the CNIL (National Commission for Informatics and Liberties) has issued recommendations. The use of RFIDs is strictly controlled and must include a voluntary deactivation system, to prevent information from being read without the knowledge of its owners. But, to this day, no one is forced to have an RFID chip implanted under the skin.

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