Credit Card industry to lead people tracking after 2010

I have said it before, and I will say it again. In 2010 all the databases come together and will be shared with the rest of Europe via the EU. The EU already has agreements with the US to share some of that data further.

See my earlier article about 2010 to understand what is going on with all the databases.

Credit cards are only valid until 2010, check yours. This is because a new kind of credit card is to be issued, credit cards with RFID built in.

Now, it seems that the credit card industry is colluding with the supermarkets, schools, shopping centers, bus stations and other public places such as hotels, museums etc and undoubtedly governments in placing RFID readers to track people.

One organisation CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering) discovered patents placed by American Express entitled “Method and System for Facilitating a Shopping Experience,” to do just that.

CASPIAN have tackled American Express head on, and issued the following press release:

Promises Full Patent Review, Tracking Notice, and Chip-Free Option

The top brass at American Express, chagrined at the discovery of its people tracking plans, met with CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering) last week to discuss the issue. One outcome of the meeting was a promise by American Express to review its entire patent portfolio and ensure that any people-tracking plans be accompanied by language requiring consumer notice and consent.

The meeting was organized after CASPIAN called attention to one of the company's more troublesome patent applications. That patent application, titled “Method and System for Facilitating a Shopping Experience,” describes a Minority Report style blueprint for monitoring consumers through RFID-enabled objects, like the American Express Blue Card.

According to the patent, RFID readers called “consumer trackers” would be placed in store shelving to pick up “consumer identification signals” emitted by RFID-embedded objects carried by shoppers. These would be used to identify people, track their movements, and observe their behavior.

The patent also suggested such people-tracking systems could “be located in a common area of a school, shopping center, bus station or other place of public accommodation.”

Allegations of American Express people-tracking blueprints first came to light at a conference sponsored by the Consumer Federation of America in Washington, D.C. last month. There, Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Founder and Director of CASPIAN, revealed the patent pending plans that she and her “Spychips” co-author Liz McIntyre uncovered in their ongoing RFID research.

Soon thereafter, American Express arranged for four of its vice presidents, including the vice presidents of Contactless Payments and Public Affairs, to meet with CASPIAN leaders in a phone conference.

“We are pleased that American Express responded to our concerns,” said Albrecht. “It's clear the company is thinking about privacy issues and wants to address them constructively. However, we had hoped that American Express would renounce its people tracking plans altogether and be more sensitive to the fact that placing RFID tags in consumer items, like credit cards, puts consumers at risk for surreptitious tracking by others.”

In response to CASPIAN concerns, American Express also promised that it would make a chip-free version of its credit card available to concerned consumers who ask for it.

“Offering a chipless credit card is a positive step and should serve as an example to the rest of the industry,” said McIntyre. “Consumers don't like RFID technology. Contrary to American Express ads, most people would rather leave home without it.”

The complete text and excerpts from the American Express people tracking patent application can be found at:

You have read the stories about people being tagged and tracked, was told it was a conspiracy theory, well now there is proof. “consumer trackers”

Check your credit cards, they all expire in 2009 or 2010.


About IanPJ

Ian Parker-Joseph, former Leader of the Libertarian Party UK, who currently heads PDPS Internet Hosting and the Personal Deed Poll Services company, has been an IT industry professional for over 20 years, providing Business Consulting, Programme and Project Management, specialising in the recovery of Projects that have failed in a process driven world. Ian’s experience is not limited to the UK, and he has successfully delivered projects in the Middle East, Africa, US, Russia, Poland, France and Germany. Working within different cultures, Ian has occupied high profile roles within multi-nationals such as Nortel and Cable & Wireless. These experiences have given Ian an excellent insight into world events, and the way that they can shape our own national future. His extensive overseas experiences have made him all too aware of how the UK interacts with its near neighbours, its place in the Commonwealth, and how our nation fits into the wider world. He is determined to rebuild many of the friendships and commercial relationships with other nations that have been sadly neglected over the years, and would like to see greater energy and food security in these countries, for the benefit of all. Ian is a vocal advocate of small government, individual freedom, low taxation and a minimum of regulation. Ian believes deeply and passionately in freedom and independence in all areas of life, and is now bringing his professional experiences to bear in the world of politics.
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2 Responses to Credit Card industry to lead people tracking after 2010

  1. Anonymous says:

    There is no doubt that the future of virtual money will take another shape, I also realize the importance of data bases in the future, should this be a bad thing? Is the world turning in a systematic strict universe? I rather not thing dramatically about this and start worrying when I have real reasons to.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hmm, in some way this was to be expected, I didn't expected to see it that soon though. Some people are concerned about this, some people don't really care. I can't predict how they will all respond to this new system…

Comments are closed.