Friday, January 19, 2007

Octopus

Your octopus cash card is a proximity card. It works when it gets near to a reader/writer. We all have an octopus card. Some are personal cards linked to a credit card account, and some are standalone cards requiring periodic cash deposit updating. The news below reveals the real power of the card, and its network. This man with an octopus card, a standalone card, was tracked down by the police from the fare payment record of the bus which was linked to fare payment records of other public transport. His journey was mapped. Payment records of purchase in convenient stores and other shops were also tracked, thus a personal profile was created, including his area of movement, purchase habit, what he liked to eat, what he liked to buy. His face was then identified from CCTV record of the shops. I refer to myself that I use octopus card and credit card on all spendings. Cash is only used in taxi. My complete profile is available to those who would try to track me.

There are movies about the power of technology in tracking down information. Whenever someone used his credit card, CIA as well as hackers would immediately know his whereabout. Cars were installed with GPS device for security. The whereabout of the car was known worldwide to law enforcement agencies and hi-tech criminals. These are all known technologies. Now we have an octopus card for everyday use including tracking. With more powerful readers, which may already exist, our physical location may be tracked through the octopus card by the minute by numerous readers available everywhere.

The good news is that a city dweller can then totally integrate into the community and enjoy the services and security of a modern city. Criminals and terrorists can be monitored. The price is that we also offer ourselves to be monitored. While Hong Kong recently had a debate on street surveillance and stopped the police installing CCTV cameras in the streets, I read about the surveillance system in London where there are CCTV cameras in almost every street corner and public place. President Bush also admitted that the USA government read all internet mail, and he claimed it was legal.

Do you feel unsafe if there is no guardian angel watching you in the dark?

【本報訊】警方憑一張個人八達通卡的紀錄及經過一星期追查,成功偵破上周三在一輛102號線城巴上發生的「電槍怪客」案,拘捕一對男女及撿獲一支鬚刨形電槍。接手調查該案的深水警區重案組探員,案發後從巴士的八達通機取得資料,鎖定一張個人八達通卡,警方除證實疑犯持該八達通卡在荔枝角登上巴士外,稍後亦使用同一張卡轉搭其他交通工具,並且在便利店和商舖購物,甚至增值。重案組探員除了追蹤這張八達通卡外,並從多家便利店及商舖的閉路電視畫面取得疑犯的樣貌,交由案中女事主及巴士司機確認疑犯身份,於前日下午2時許,警員掩至葵涌一單位,拘捕涉案的姓唐男子。

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