08.20.19

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The European Patent Office Increases Surveillance: Can’t Get Food Without Being Spied on

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

War on Cash

Summary: The infamous “War on Cash” has been ‘won’ at Europe’s second-largest institution, where people’s diet can now be monitored and indefinitely retained on the system

THE European Patent Office (EPO) turns to more surveillance. For those who have never thought about it, the war on cash is actually a war on anonymity/privacy. It’s a bit of a side effect, but the net effect is the same. There are many other issues which are well documented, e.g. as per this list: Privacy, Savings, Human Rights, and Cybersecurity. It harms vulnerable people and makes more vulnerable everybody else.

“For those who have never thought about it, the war on cash is actually a war on anonymity/privacy. It’s a bit of a side effect, but the net effect is the same.”Welcome to the ‘modern’ EPO; Employees cannot even buy food anonymously anymore. Want some drink? Give us your name. Even for mineral water. “During the month of August, all EPO canteens and cafeterias are turning into cashless premises,” the EPO wrote (warning: epo.org link). It’s bragging about it. It didn’t say this in internal portals but in the public-facing site (we assume for visitors of the EPO). “This means that payment will only be possible at the checkout using a bank or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, VPay),” they added. “This change is already in place in the EPO offices in The Hague, Berlin and Vienna. It will come into effect in in Munich at the end of August.”

Read “cashless” like “paperless voting” i.e. election’s voting systems with no paper trail to audit. It’s ripe for mischief, i.e. abuse (vote-stealing or vote-flipping); it’s similar except cashless means auditing of everything, i.e. a privacy violation where none is needed/justified. “Cashless payment at EPO canteens and cafeterias” says the title; Cashless means spied on. It means one has to divulge one’s identity for every item of food. They keep track of everything. Will they sell this data too? They can. We covered countless privacy abuses at the EPO (in past years and even earlier this year).

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