[LINK] A card that may change all our lives
Mon, 13 Aug 2001 11:32:46 +1000
On Mon, Aug 13, 2001 at 01:49:39AM +1000, Eric Scheid wrote:
> all sounding fine, except maybe the penultimate item listed... which
> raises a red flag when I then read:
> >"The smartcard will not need to be removed from a wallet or bag, it
> >only needs to pass the validator, which will signal acceptance of the
this is the biggest problem with the idea.
any system that bills a user (or even scans their card) without
requiring explicit consent (e.g. by swiping the card through a reader)
is just plain wrong.
aside from the prospect of being double (or triple or n-tuple) billed
for the same service or incorrectly billed or even charged for a service
you didnt want just because you walked/stood too close to the scanner,
there's also the problem of what it does to privacy and anonymity. it
allows for easy tracking of people as they travel around, and as they
enter and leave buildings and shops.
melbourne's citylink e-tags have the same potential - it's not
impossible (or even unlikely) that scanners could automatically track
the movements of individual cars. one of the obvious undesirable results
of that is: park too close to a union picket or a protest rally and
you end up with an asio file. park near or drive slowly through a "red
light district" and get flagged as a john or, worse, a "potential sex
> and also
> >They can be linked to a bank account so the card automatically "tops
> >up" without the user ever having to go to a bank. The card could
> >also become a driver's licence and Medicare card.
shades of the australia card. not surprising, though - there have been
repeated attempts to introduce such a thing since the australian public
rejected the proposal in the 1980s (we ended up with the tax file number
there's an inherent tension here - on the one hand, governments &
business want to track people and on the other, citizens don't want to
be spied upon...resenting the further erosion of their privacy.
> I imagine a dark future where a ticket inspector will walk up and down
> the train, and by virtue of being in scanning range automatically
> issue fines for not having a valid ticket. A quick stroll, without the
> inconvenience of actually stopping and investigating, and the gummint
> raises more revenue.
i think that's probably the least of the problems that this would cause.
craig sanders <email@example.com>
Fabricati Diem, PVNC.
-- motto of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch