FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show A China-Made Face Mask Containing An RFID Chip?
A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows a surgical mask made in China that contains a radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip.
The video was created by a Facebook user as satire. The Facebook user said he inserted the chip in the mask for the satirical video.
The Facebook post includes a 45-second video clip that shows an unidentified man using his cell phone to scan a surgical face mask. The scan appears to react to the mask, sending a notification of the mask’s location to the man’s cell phone. He then rips apart the mask to reveal a microchip buried within it.
“Masks made in China are manufactured from plastic, sprayed with chemicals and often contain RFID chips. [Shown here],” reads the video’s caption in part. An RFID chip is a “tag, label or card that can exchange data with a reader using radio frequency (RF) signals” that usually has a “built-in antenna and an integrated circuit,” according to Techopedia.
While the video does appear to show some sort of chip inside the mask, an internet search reveals the video was actually created as satire. It was initially shared by a Greek-speaking Facebook user in September 2020 who clarified it was created as a joke.
“Of course this is a troll!” reads a translated version of the September 2020 clip’s caption. “The chip is a common NFC that we put on the mask for the video.” (RELATED: Does Victoria’s Secret Apparel Contain A ‘Chip’ To Track Customers?)
Near-field communication (NFC) chips allow “phones, tablets, laptops, and other devices to share data with other NFC-equipped devices easily,” according to digitaltrends.com. They can be purchased on Amazon.
Check Your Fact didn’t find any credible news reporting about China-produced surgical masks containing RFID chips. A spokesperson for the Department of Defense told Check Your Fact via email: “We have not received any reporting of this in DOD.”