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Privacy Implications Of Shops Which Don't Accept Cash

MotorMachineMercenar (124135) writes | about a year ago


MotorMachineMercenar (124135) writes "As I went to buy a nice bottle of wine at a shop in Amsterdam, I was shocked when the shopkeeper told me "we don't accept cash, only cards." This was the second time I've run into a shop like this. He further told me that these types of shops will become more common, as it is "safer." Safer for who?

Do we really want everything that we buy to be a matter of record to be recorded and saved for indefinite period of time by banks and credit card companies? Amsterdam especially has services and goods on sale which might not look too good on a credit card bill. Even if all you bought was perfectly legal, who knows what conclusions current and future databases or officials will make? Will I receive an "enhanced" security check if I buy box cutters on the way to the airport?

While such shops are rare now, they might become more popular unless people are aware of the loss of privacy, and potential for abuse by unscrupulous people with access to the data. At least currently I have the choice of paying cash. I don't want that choice to be taken away, replaced by an ever-wider reach of the surveillance state."

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Safer for the shop owner (1)

Deadstick (535032) | about a year ago | (#44918859)

...who doesn't have to worry as much about his employees ripping him off.

There's a similar problem here in Colorado, where we recently legalized marijuana. It remains illegal under federal law, and even though the federal authorities are leaving it alone, federally insured banks are forbidden to do business with the pot shops. No checks, no credit cards, cash only -- and no safe place to put it. The shopkeepers have to carry bags of money to secret locations as fast as it comes in, with the obvious risk of robbery and employee theft.

And of course the Internal Revenue Service has no way of knowing how much income tax they owe...

Simple recourse (1)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | about a year ago | (#44919663)

If you're displeased with the shopkeeper not accepting cash, take your custom elsewhere.

"I'm sorry, I didn't realize... I don't care to pay with a card, I'm sorry to have troubled you."

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