A new theory has gained traction among social media users who believe Microsoft is developing a new way to track people’s vaccination status.
“Human trials will start this July on a micro-chip implant smaller than a pin-head that will hold your booster status and other information to enable a fast and easy way to access things like shops and events,” reads a screenshot of a tweet posted on Facebook on Jan. 16 and shared almost 500 times. “All powered by Microsoft technology.”
This is not the first time microchip claims about Microsoft and its founder, Bill Gates, have surfaced online. In June 2020, USA TODAY debunked false claims that Gates was planning to implant microchips in people through the COVID-19 vaccines, which hadn’t sought authorization for use at the time.
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Much like those, this claim has no basis in fact. The tweet being shared online originated in a parody account, and a spokesperson for Microsoft told USA TODAY the company is not working on developing such a microchip or human trials of it.
USA TODAY reached out to the Facebook user who posted the image for comment.
The original tweet, which has now been retweeted over 1,000 times, was posted Jan. 16 from a parody account that mocks Matt Hancock, a member of the U.K. Parliament, according to the Twitter bio of the poster.
When asked about the accuracy of the claims, Microsoft spokesperson Carley Petersen told USA TODAY in an email Microsoft “is not conducting human trials of micro-chip implants.”
A search of the company’s innovative news page and press releases showed no evidence the company is developing a microchip that could store information about vaccination and booster status.
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A similar concept exists, however. A rice-sized microchip developed by a Swedish tech startup could be repurposed to store information about people’s COVID-19 vaccination records, The Orlando Sentinel reported in December 2021.
Fox 45 News reported the implant can be embedded under a person’s arm or between the thumb and index finger, and the procedure – which would be reversible – could cost as little as $100.
Based on our research we rate FALSE the claim that Microsoft is developing a microchip to hold vaccination status information, for which trials start in July. The claim originated with a parody Twitter account. A company spokesperson told USA TODAY that Microsoft is not carrying out any human trials for the development of a microchip.
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