FactCheck Social Media

No, Bill Gates isn’t partnering with ID companies to implant microchips in humans

2020-07-31 17:43:48

The Statement

A Facebook post claims that in a bid for “worldwide control”, US billionaire Bill Gates has teamed up with digital identity companies to implant microchips in humans.

The post, on a page for a business called Ross Walter Nutritionist & Naturopath, claims the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation partnered with two technology companies, COVI-PASS and Trust Stamp, to develop digital identity programs.

The post claims COVI-PASS will use “implanted microchips that will be your digital identification ‘passport’ to be used for banking, travel, access to facilities, and more”.

It also claims Trust Stamp will monitor people via a social credit score linked to their electronic health records, vaccination status and financial accounts from an implanted microchip.

The post also includes an image featuring the logos of international vaccine group Gavi,  credit card company Mastercard and TrustStamp along with a picture of Bill Gates and a banner that reads, “Predictive Policing. Trust Stamp – Bill Gates funded program that will link your identity to your vaccination history”.

The July 21 post has generated more than 500 shares and more than 35,000 views.

A Facebook post
 A post claims Bill Gates has teamed up with digital identity firms to implant microchips in humans. 

The Analysis

The post’s claim that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded two digital identity companies to develop programs to monitor humans is not true. Trust Stamp and COVI-PASS do not have partnerships with the Gates Foundation, nor have they developed microchip implants to track people using a ‘social credit system’.

The post’s image appears to come from a July 19 article that appears on a website called GreatGameIndia. Trust Stamp is a global provider of identity proofing services aimed at preventing ID fraud and data loss. Some claims about Trust Stamp in the post are also similar to claims in the article.

The Great Game India article includes the sentence: “Those who may not wish to be vaccinated may be locked out of the system based on their trust score”.

The July 21 Facebook post has the passage: “The “trust” part of the Trust Stamp name comes from the fact that if you are not vaccinated, you will be locked out of the system based on your “trust” score.” Both the article and the post refer to Trust Stamp being part of a system of “predictive policing”.

A Trust Stamp spokesperson told AAP FactCheck in an email the company was not in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Trust Stamp has never developed microchip technology meant to be implanted in humans,” the spokesperson said in response to the claim it uses microchips to monitor users.

“Our only current involvement with vaccination initiatives is a result of our efforts to increase accessibility to markets, services and aid, through providing a means to prove identity for people that lack verifiable identity credentials (e.g a birth certificate).”

“The vaccination program captures the parents’ biometrics, not those of the child, and there is no central storage of the biometrics or any other identity data. The biometric hash is stored on the device and on a card that the parent takes with them.”

Regarding claims that Trust Stamp monitors financial accounts and is running a “social credit system”, the spokesperson told AAP FactCheck the company did not have “any solutions that link healthcare records with access to financial tools”.

“The work we do for financial inclusion aims to establish the first source of verifiable identity for those that have none. We do not store data relating to how an individual makes use of these services nor do we have or use any kind of ‘social credit system’.”

The post also makes several claims about COVI-PASS, an app-based digital health wallet that allows people to store COVID-19 test results.

The post claims COVI-PASS arose from the ID2020 project.

ID2020 is a not-for-profit program that is funded by corporate sponsors including Microsoft and the Gates Foundation vaccine project Gavi.

A COVI-PASS spokesperson told AAP FactCheck in an email the company did not have a funding partnership with the Gates Foundation, nor had it developed “implantable microchips” for humans.

The spokesperson said COVI-PASS was not developed out of the ID2020 project.

“COVI-PASS is simply a digital wallet that is being developed with health credentials in mind,” the spokesperson said.

“A COVID-19 test result can only be accessed with the wallet holder’s permission.”

The spokesperson said COVI-PASS uses blockchain, military-grade encryption and double authorisation to assure user data protection and is GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliant.”

Claims Mr Gates planned to launch microchip implants have previously been debunked by AAP FactCheck following a March 2020 Reddit “Ask Me Anything” Q&A in which he mentioned foreseeing the use of “digital certificates” to show who has been tested for COVID-19.

In June 2020, the Microsoft founder told Wired magazine that he had never been “involved in any sort of microchip-type thing”.

“It is good to know which kids have had a measles vaccine and which have not, so there are data systems and … health records that people use to track that … but there’s no chips or anything like that,” he said.

“It’s almost hard to deny this stuff because it’s so stupid or strange, that to even to repeat almost seems to give it credibility.”

Bill and Melinda Gates
 A claim the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded programs to monitor humans is not true. 

The Verdict

Based on the evidence, AAP FactCheck found the claims in the Facebook post to be false. COVI-PASS and TrustStamp have not had partnerships with the Gates Foundation, nor have the companies developed microchips to be implanted in humans so they can monitor and control them.

False – The primary claims of the content are factually inaccurate.

* AAP FactCheck is accredited by the Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network, which promotes best practice through a stringent and transparent Code of Principles. https://aap.com.au/