in Digital Rights

How a Cashless Society Could Embolden Big Brother

Fascinating read by Sarah Jeong about what might happen if we continue to move towards a cashless society:

[Wherever] information gathers and flows, two predators follow closely behind it: censorship and surveillance. The case of digital money is no exception. Where money becomes a series of signals, it can be censored; where money becomes information, it will inform on you. [..] A cashless society promises a world of limitation, control, and surveillance—all of which the poorest Americans already have in abundance, of course. For the most vulnerable, the cashless society offers nothing substantively new, it only extends the reach of the existing paternal bureaucratic state.

She has some horrid examples of people’s and organisation’s accounts being cut off with zero due process for alleged terms-of-service-infringing behaviour.

Source: How a Cashless Society Could Embolden Big Brother – The Atlantic