In the United Kingdom, there are no regulations around self-implanted microchips as they do not fall under the purview of medical devices, as per the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
However, Professor Tom Joyce, a biomedical engineer at Newcastle University, told Medical Device Network that biohacking raises questions about liability and responsibility in situations that go wrong.
“For example, while a user might be held responsible for modifying an implant against the manufacturer’s instructions, the possibility of hacking the implant might be attributed to a security vulnerability for which the manufacturer might be liable,” she says.
As for safety, researchers have noted that modern body modifications can lead to complications that should not be underestimated.
To Anonym, the ethics of biohacking lie in “a principle called bodily autonomy, wherein, in my opinion, everyone should have the right to alter their own body as they see fit, as long as that doesn’t involve anyone else. And what I would find very unethical would be to alter anyone else’s body, or to tell anyone else that you can or can’t have this done,” she says.