You Want Paranoia? We'll Give You Paranoia!

By Rob Last edited 158 months ago
You Want Paranoia? We'll Give You Paranoia!
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Exactly a week ago today we reported on the news that Oyster cards may soon be used for making small purchases at newsagents and coffee shops etc.

We mentioned the concerns some people had over the 'tracking devices' that Oyster cards carry and also the reputation that Transys have for cocking up. And then we got accused of "pointlessly slagging things off".

Now we have to say, on the 'Oyster cards not working' thing, we were completely out of order. We can't even remember the last time we heard of any widespread problems with the system (not in the last two hours anyway).

But, on the paranoia front we think we can top the Oyster conspiracy: a primary school in Worcester Park is planning to require pupils to have their fingerprints scanned if they want to take out library books.

This is real Philip K. Dick territory we're in now. Basically, if the school implements the system it means that the nippers will have their thumbprints taken and then converted into a number which corresponds to each kid's personal details.

Unsurprisingly "some parents of children at Dorchester Primary School believe the technology is an unnecessary intrusion into their children's lives".

One parent puts it quite well when he says "What risk do library book loans present that they demand the biometric tagging of children?"

Londonist can exclusively reveal that, as a result of the furore, the school has already abandoned its plans to equip its milk monitors with iris recognition technology and taser guns.

Last Updated 11 March 2005


Why can't Oyster cards be bloody anonymous? I don't understand why they require all this ID. Imagine, anonymous cards. Pick up as many as you like. Charge them up with cash at your cornershop.


Here's a bit on the Octopus card you might find intetresting (from Wikipedia):



Liberty - without any tie to an ID, the security feature that allows a lost Oyster card to be stopped and the money transferred to the owner's new card would be impossible. Why bother with anonymous cards that carry cash? Isn't it just over-engineered cash?