I was wondering about the security of the paypass system, and whether it is simply an acknowledgement by credit card security companies that the functional security of the signature-based payment system is essentially nil, and can justify the introduction of an RFID chip without a great change in consumers use of the card. Indeed, as many of the advertisements that seem to justify the PayPass system indicate, those who fail to utilize PayPass are old or slow or a hammer in the works, while those that do are able to hide their predilections for fun, are preppy go getters, able to survive first dates, or never ‘caught out’ without cash. There’s plenty of videos out there that show how to ‘disable’ the RFID chips, with overtones of New World Order conspiracy theories of a broadly panoptic society; so, yeah, you can do that if you wish, but I would suggest that it’s probably a pain to do so. Given that the systems of capitalism can be understood without recourse to conspiracy, as long as you work within the exchange economy then you’re within a form of capture, and simply getting outside the limited organizational systems of one or two large companies or states doesn’t fundamentally remove oneself from those particular problems. It’s probably wiser to be aware of the obvious insecurity of such a device (i.e. the retail teller no longer even validates the identity of the payer with the card), and take precautionary measures. I’m more interested in the possible effects on businesses of having to install PayPass/EFTPOS devices at a rental/purchase cost, which may exert more of a difference in profits in terms of those that can or can’t abide by an increased pressure towards a cashless society.
An article that I’ve written has been released as an advance publication. See here.