The Majority of Russians Do Not Support Microchip Implants
The majority of Russians would not agree to being fitted with microchip implants for any purposes—medical or otherwise. A joint study conducted by HSE University’s International Laboratory for Applied Network Research and Aventica found that respondents believe the risks of personal data leaks and misuse to be too high.
The study was conducted in spring 2021 in Poland, Croatia, Slovenia, Ukraine and Russia. The aim of the project was to study society’s relationship to medical microchips, the social context, and the level of acceptance of similar innovations. The results were presented at a research seminar at the International Laboratory for Applied Network Research by Junior Research Fellow Stanislav Moiseev.
Passive microchip implants utilize radio-frequency identification technology (RFID), which uses radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation to automate the reading and recording of accounting and control data on a device. Today, RFID is widely used in retail for identification, unlocking, and storing volumes of information up to 512 kB.
Medical microchips take the form of a small (slightly bigger than 1 cm) implant encased in hypoallergenic glass. They do not require a power source and can be read over a short distance.
The pandemic has prompted active discussion of the topic of human microchip implants, particularly in regard to mass vaccination against COVID-19.
Surveys show that the vast majority of Russians believe that people should have the right to control their personal information, with 80% of respondents saying that no one should be able to collect or disclose such information without the individual’s consent. Almost three-quarters of those surveyed in Russia reported being worried about threats to the integrity of their private life, while 82% believe that organisations and agencies ask individuals to provide too much personal information. More than 70% believe that the use of electronic devices comes with a real risk of data leaks.
Just over half of those surveyed considered the use of microchips to monitor human health to be a good idea. People believe that such implants could help save lives, transmit information about organ donors, store and receive personalised medical information in accidents and emergencies, and even provide notifications about potential health issues and complications. What’s more, the majority of respondents agreed that microchips could be used during pandemics to identify people who are infected or vaccinated.
Only 37% of respondents said that they would agree to have a microchip implanted for medical purposes, while 22% would do so for identification and 13% would do so to make purchases. A further 22% said that they would only agree to receive such an implant if they could be sure that the chip would not be used to track them using GPS. According to Stanislav Moiseev, Russians also show fairly progressive attitudes towards personal data collection. The low willingness to get fitted with a microchip implant is due to the fact that people are always wary of new innovations. Almost all of those surveyed admitted that the technology has future applications, but that it currently presents more risks than opportunities.
Tamara Shcheglova—another member of the research group—explained that Russians were more likely than citizens of other countries to mention concerns over the health impact of microchip implants. They are mostly worried about potential allergic reactions, as well as their effects on the nervous system and emotional behaviour. Many are also worried about pain and the possibility of the implant moving around inside their body. Russians also demonstrated the lowest levels of trust in the government, banks, and healthcare system when it comes to protecting personal data.
Pivot to the East: A Comprehensive Study of the Cultural and Civilisational Centres of the Non-Western World is the Top Priority
China and the Chinese world, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Arab countries, Iran, Turkey, Central Asia and Africa are gaining new significance in Russia’s foreign policy. However, we do not know enough about the Eastern countries. It is necessary to change the priorities in education, starting from grammar school. Prospects for the development of domestic Oriental studies in the context of the new stage in the development of the system of international relations were discussed at a round table at HSE University.
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There is major potential for economic and humanitarian cooperation between Russia and African countries. Particularly, Russian organisations and universities can help transfer competencies and knowledge in the fields of agriculture, energy, industrial production, environmental management, climate change, and public administration. Experts and representatives of African embassies in Russia discussed these issues at the round table ‘Russia-Africa Sharing Knowledge’ hosted by HSE University.
As part of an international project conducted with the participation of Roscosmos and the European Space Agency, a team of researchers used differential tractography to analyse dMRI scans ofcosmonauts’ brains and found significant changes in brain connectivity, with some of the changes persisting after seven months back on Earth. The paper is published in Frontiers in Neural Circuits.
HSE University-Perm and the Training Centre of the Uzbek Ministry of Finance Sign Cooperation Agreement
HSE University in Perm has become the first academic partner of the Training Centre under the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The parties have signed a cooperation agreement in education and research.
On November 9, 2021, HSE University signed a memorandum of understanding with Wageningen University & Research, a major university in the Netherlands and one of the leading agricultural research institutes in the world. Participants of the signing ceremony included HSE University Rector Nikita Anisimov, President of the Wageningen University & Research Executive Board Professor Louise Fresco, and Dutch Ambassador to Russia Gilles Beschoor Plug.
The 10th International Moscow Finance Conference, organized by HSE ICEF, took place on October 29–30 online. Vladimir Sokolov, Head of the International Laboratory of Financial Economics, which hosted the conference, talks about the participants, the key presentation topics and how they will impact the global economy.
The UN Climate Change Conference is taking place from October 31 to November 12 in Glasgow. The conference focuses on preventive measures against the catastrophic and irreversible consequences of rising average global air temperatures. Igor Makarov, Head of the HSE Laboratory for Economics of Climate Change, will be taking part in the Glasgow conference. In the following interview, he speaks about the pressing problems Russia and the world are facing, and the research HSE scholars are doing on climate change.
HSE University and Coursera are bringing together the world’s leading researchers, professionals, education and technology leaders, and business community representatives for the fourth international research conference eLearning Stakeholders and Researchers Summit 2021 (eSTARS). This topic of this year’s summit, which will run from December 1–2, 2021,is ‘Digital Transformation: Global Challenges to the Education System’.
On October 20–22, the second International Conference on Experience Economy: Museum, Event, and Tourism Management was held at HSE University in Perm. Key talks were delivered by Andrea Rurale, the director of the Master’s in Arts Management and Administration at the Bocconi University School of Management, and Guillaume Tiberghien, University of Glasgow.