It could lead to changes in bus timetables to make shopping visits easier, or identify times of the day when free parking would help retailers. In theory, it could even be used to decide that some town centres are beyond saving.

But the idea that shoppers will be tracked through their phones’ wifi signals is controversial. Many balk at the rise of the surveillance society through CCTV cameras, automatic number plate recognition and smartphones.

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A man who implanted a microchip containing his airline booking details into his hand was able to use it to pass effortlessly through security to his flight.

Andreas Sjöström, vice president of digital for technology consulting company Sogeti, had the near-field communication chip (NFC) about the size of a grain of rice injected into his hand with a syringe, before using it at Stockholm Arlanda Airport to pass through security and board his plane.

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Your next flight might include a mandatory trip through the body scanner, with the US government quietly changing the opt-out rules for searches. In a document published earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security outlined an update to the Advanced Imagery Technology protocols used by the TSA at US airports, adding a clause which allows officers to insist travelers go through the controversial machines.

Previously, though the body scanners were present at many airports across the country, travelers were free to opt-out of the process. Billed as a privacy consideration, it meant a physical screening was mandatory, but alleviated concerns held by some that the technology could “see them naked” and store photographs of that.

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Next time you go for an MRI scan, remember that the doctor might not be the only one who sees your results.

Thousands of medical devices, including MRI scanners, X-ray machines and drug infusion pumps, are vulnerable to hacking, creating significant health risks for patients, security researchers said this week.

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