Saturday, 9 October 2010

Who Am I? Why Did I Visit....? What Was I Doing? Foxtrot Oscar!

The Telegraph reports that "Smart travel card to ease global travel - Travellers will be able to ride the London Underground, the Paris Metro and New York's subway without ever having to stop and buy a ticket using new technology that could be ready within two years". 

Once again, as with the EU Galileo system on which road pricing would be based, who will have access to the information that these 'smart travel cards' will contain? At first sight this looks to be no more than a furtherance of the "We will know where you are, where you have been" syndrome, something which is an aspect of any totalitarian regime.

Decades ago people used to provide intimate details of their life without a murmur, yet now the first question on most people's lips is "Why do you want to know that?" This just demonstrates that the trust in 'officialdom' has plummeted to an all-time low.

Personally I try not to use my card, preferring to queue and pay in cash where possible, regardless of what I have bought and/or what 'service' I have used.

Anonymity equals privacy in today's society.


Richard said...

Totalitarian control by the back door. No-one would ever agree to have their movements tracked, but when it is presented as a 'convenient way to do things', they will fall in with it like sheep. Remember the ID cards that would be a 'convenient way to access Govt services'? Make it snappy, make it cheap, and make it appeal to people's sense of laziness, and you're on a winner. Whatever your intentions.

Witterings From Witney said...

Should have put that point in the post - Damn!

Thanks for spotting and the comment, Richard.

Richard said...

It was intended as a comment, not a criticism :) Incidentally, I made the decision to do everything I could with cash a while ago, but I have become lazy myself and use the card most of the time. Back to basics, methinks.cocultio

Richard said...

Oops - WV got in the text somehow.

Anonymous said...

I’m with you on this, WfW, but I get caught out.

I bought a new computer monitor the other day and at the counter I was asked for my address etc. When I questioned this I was reassured by the till person swinging the screen around to show me that she had inserted a cross in the box marked “no marketing”. And so I meekly gave her the information she required.

The British are known for being polite and not wanting to cause a fuss. What I should have done is told her to shove her monitor.

I have learnt my lesson.

Witterings From Witney said...

Anonymous, just remember the word 'No' or if you don't wish to be so polte, then try 'Foxtrot Oscar'