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Cashless concept takes a hit

Discussion in 'Economy' started by MemphisMark, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old School Conservative

    I don't remember the thread where we were talking about a cashless society. I found this today, 'Being cash-free puts us at risk of attack': Swedes turn against cashlessness.

    No cash == no privacy, since every transaction is traced. If Law Enforcement knows you spent $53.07 at Kroger yesterday, they can go to Kroger and find out what you purchased. If you used your Shoppers Card, they can see your whole buying pattern.

    Of course, cash and your Shoppers Card is almost as bad. Unless they get video of you at the checkout making the cash purchase, it is plausible deniability that "an unauthorized person used my Shoppers Card."
  2. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    I recently wrote an article on this subject, that the combination of omnipresent TV surveillance combined with advances in artificial intelligence, then compounded by the many pictures e.g. those people post of themselves on Facebook, are headed for a trinity that will form a basis for tracking individual people anywhere in public, just the same as we are tracked on the Internet. I think those store cards may become obsolete. With the trinity I described I think it's entirely possible for any store to subscribe to some TV surveillance facial recognition system and get far more than they get from the store cards, including what aisles you traversed, what products you looked at, what you picked up and put back. And then they will analyze it all and know far more than those antiquated "loyalty" cards tell them.

    It appears that the trend of the future is cashierless stores where individuals are identified and can simply load up their cart and push it out to their vehicle and put the stuff in (and hopefully return their cart to a kiosk.)

    Of course I need not point out that if you bypass the cashier you are not paying cash. (Note that in practicality the store will need to intercept a few people not recognized by the system.)

    In a related story I've heard more than a few times in the last few days, apparently signature pads are on the way to obsolescence, it has been announced by multiple sources that signatures are pretty worthless as a form of ID (who actually looks at that stuff? I just scrawl a wiggly line), and that shortly the signatures will disappear as chipped cards become mandatory and all sliders are deactivated. The chip identifies you more reliably than the signature which proves only that you can scrawl a wiggly line.

    I think we are headed towards increasing electronic transactions and decreasing cash transactions.
  3. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    I decided to split my reply into two posts to make this different idea stick out.

    What I would like to see is the functional equivalent of Bitcoin wallets, meaning I'd like to see inexpensive electronic "wallets" that could hold a limited amount of cash, perhaps set a limit of what most people usually carry in cash, perhaps $250 or $500, and this device could be used as an anonymous payment method. It should be cheap enough that you could deplete it and toss it. Maybe a retail price of a few dollars. Note that with increasing quantity even complicated devices can be incredibly cheap.

    The flaw of course is if they can see and identify you, they can identify your transaction and connect you and your wallet. Perhaps some kind of blockchain or double cypher (public/private) technology can prevent connecting individuals with their transactions.

    But then of course that is exactly what the government wants, a reliable way to connect individuals with the purchases we make. It seems to me that the concept of privacy is becoming obsoleted by advances in technology. Supposedly the government can't do that, but there is no reason private industry can't, they aren't restricted by our Constitutional right of privacy. And worse, the federal government has been known to hire private firms to do jobs the federal government was Constitutionally prohibited from doing.

    I think we are going to face many of these issues in the 21st century. At my age and with increasing longevity I'm likely to see the whole damned thing, I might even see the dawn of the 22nd century (as a very old woman).
  4. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old School Conservative

    Bitcoin and Blockchain are inexorably intertwined. I have already heard about peoples' identities revealed from the (supposedly) anonymous Blockchain.
  5. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    My Internet mentor runs the 2nd largest porn site on the Internet. I'm referring to bootleg sites that repost legitimate site DMCA protected content. Criticize him if you wish, but he taught me more about IT and running my own server than any person alive.

    He was in the original BTC mining thing. He is an authority on crypto-currencies. He told me that the block-chain is robust enough to withstand compromise from the usual hackers but that the major players like the US government etc. have enough computing power that they could easily blow through any blockchain stuff if they had a major case, e.g. something like terrorism. Hell yeah, the US "alphabet" agencies can blow through blockchain info like Bitcoin if it becomes important to them. All you need is all the data set and enough computational power to process it, and you can correlate individual transactions. Don't delude yourself that BTC is anonymous. It's only as anonymous as it needs to be to protect you from anything EXCEPT big governmental agencies (US, UK, etc.).

    My friend Leon (not to be confused with GA's Leon) who owns a local furniture store tells me that blockchain technology is becoming important to other types of transactions, and damn I can't remember what company he said to keep an eye on, along with cryptocurrencies.

    I often see furniture Leon on Thursdays (I'm in the Valley most Thursdays including today but didn't have the time to chat stock market with him) but I'll ask him again what company that was. Damn! I can almost remember. I'll come back and post the name of the company if I remember it before next Thursday. I'm sure I'll visit my stock market buddy by then if not sooner. I'm maybe headed to my western wear store tomorrow (if they have my new hat) and if so I can visit furniture Leon too.

    ETA: damn, I just phoned his store and he's gone for the afternoon. Wouldn't have done me any good to drop in anyway. Everybody needs a good stock buddy! :) He too is one of my mentors.

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