‘Noxious Rant: Chip Technology & Credit Cards

We’ve talked about chip technology and implants several times in the past, so I wanted to share with you an email I received this morning from American Express (bold highlight theirs) regarding my credit card:

Introducing our new chip-enabled MEMBER CARD ® debit card.

Hello Kathy,

As part of American Express’ continued dedication to the security and protection of our Card Members, we are excited to issue you a new Card for your account ending in 12006. Your new Card includes Chip technology, which adds an additional level of security to your Card transactions when used at chip-enabled terminals.

Prompt Attention Required:

 You will receive your new Card within the next several days. You may continue to use your existing Card until your new Card is received. However as a security measure, your current Card will be deactivated soon afterward. To avoid interruption to your spending, please activate your new Card immediately upon receipt and begin to use it for future purchases. *Please note: if you are currently or imminently traveling, rest assured you may continue to use your current Card until your return.

For your convenience, your account number will remain the same. There is no need to update your Card information with any merchants who automatically bill to your Card. Please note that your Card will have a new security code and expiration date that must be used where requested in future purchases.

If I want to continue doing business with AE, I will be forced to use the new card. By deactivating my old card, they’ve given me no choice.

Of course there’s a link to a page where I can read the FAQ that they composed with their answers slanted toward my safety and convenience. The questions they don’t ask or answer are:  Why do I need this? What if I don’t want to be tracked by carrying this card? Who else has access to this information? Can I be exempt from this technology?

I’ll admit that I really like AE because they pay attention to card activity and have alerted us several times of fraudulent charges.  I’m not wearing a tin foil hat, but I know where this is going. We’ve already seen it happen with school kids and their ID badges, implants in livestock and pets, so in the lefty world of thinking, it’s natural that people would be next. First the locator in your phone, the camera in your computer, now a chip in your credit card, and next a chip in our bodies. All for our safety and security, of course.

Aside from how bored they’ll be while tracking my activities, it’s an invasion of my privacy and I don’t like it one bit. Privileges come with risks and I accept that, so stop protecting me so much.


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21 Responses to ‘Noxious Rant: Chip Technology & Credit Cards

  1. Garnet92 says:

    Welcome to 1984 redux Kathy.

    Looking off 30 years into the future, like Orwell did, we can envision Big Brother tracking our every move – and that’s not paranoia talkin’ – we are watching it happen.

    The time will come when RFIDs (or a more technologically advanced equivalent) will be implanted in newborn babies as a matter of course. That will become our personal identifier for life.

    Then, with readers implanted damn near everywhere, Big Brother will be able to know where we are at any point in time and will be recording our lives, where we go and what we do – in detail.

    RFIDs are still relatively benign; right now the stream is only a trickle. But soon, it’ll become a flood and unless we stop it, we’re opening ourselves up to a tide that can’t be stopped. Once that door is open, we allow all sorts of monsters to come through.

    We need to rebel against the so-called “convenience” and “security” of RFIDs everywhere; else it’ll bite us in the ass.

    • Kathy says:

      I read Orwell in school and thought that’ll never happen. Little did I know we’d be living it years later.

      One of the aggravating things is how they sell it in the name of security and it makes me wonder if they’re on board with all this or just useful idiots.

  2. 219rad says:

    If you don’t want to be tracked by “What’s In Your Wallet” (Oh wait, that’s Capital One)

    Just go here and buy one of these.

    You’re being tracked whenever you use your card whether it’s at a regular terminal where you have to swipe or at an RFID terminal. But the stronghold products prevent you from being tracked until you use that specific card to buy something.

    Someone is tracking all the time which is why they are able to notify you of possible fraudulent activity.

    • Kathy says:

      Thanks for adding that, RAD, I appreciate it, but the part that ticks me off is the fact that I now need it. I don’t mind them tracking the use of the card number, but I don’t want to be tracked while carrying it around.

  3. Uriel says:

    Hate to disalusion you Garnet. That is already availabke.

  4. Uriel says:

    Oops cant spell. Disillusion.

  5. Garnet92 says:

    Having trouble with “availabke” too? Yes, it’s available, but not widespread nor it is mandatory – that’s what I was referring to.

  6. I.R. Wayright says:

    You can google the problem and see various solutions. If you drill a hole through the chip you can disable it. Some cards are opaque so if you shine a strong LED flashlight under the card you can pinpoint the exact location. You can also make a sleeve (out of a liquid carrying product like a drink box that has a plastic and foil layer) to keep intruders from reading the card while you ar carrying it around. There is a program you can download for Apple iPhones that will show if a chip is active or not and it will read most of the numbers. The main problem is if you are in a crowded place and someone has the right type of scanner, they can steal your information, clone a card with your info on it or just use your numbers to order items online. Of course the NSA probably plans to use this technology to track us and it could be benficial to law enforcement agencies if it is not abused. They should chip everybody leaving Gitmo and have a guided bomb home in on the carrier if the situation demands it.

    • Kathy says:

      Thanks IR, for the info. It’s good to know there’s a variety of ways to work around it. I wonder if you were to disable it by drilling a hole in it, if the credit card company would notice and deactivate your card.

      I’m liking the idea of chipping the guys at Gitmo. Funny though how they’re getting set free and we’re getting chipped. That’s our government helping us again.

      • I.R. Wayright says:

        Drilling the RFID chip disables the card as far as waving it past one of the proximity readers goes. It does not change anything on the magnetic strip on the back of the card that you swipe through a reader.

  7. Clyde says:

    I drilled my AMEX RFID card. The card works just fine, so as I.R. said, find the actual chip, and just drill a pinhole.

  8. vonMesser says:

    I simply told Navy Federal Credit Union when they offered me a RFID card that I would cancel my card if they gave me one. I still have my card, and there is NO RFID in it. (Been an account holder with them since 1966)

  9. Uriel says:

    Garnet. Its not the future. There ARE currently people and technology for just that now.

  10. tannngl says:

    Kathy, we just have quit using our credit card. (We only have 1-Capital One which is as conservative based as they come.) We have no chips in ours yet.

    When we worked out our pension budget last year for the first time, we decided we would be better at using our money wisely by using cash.

    We still do us our Capital One on the net. But that’s about it. Kind of takes us off the grid a little. 😀 And our expenses are less. Have to decide when shopping whether that impulse purchase is really that important.

    Good post! Important post!

    • Garnet92 says:

      Count me as one operating like tannngl. I use cash for almost everything except gas, and internet purchases.

      • Kathy says:

        Same here, Garnet and tannngl, we try to use cash where we can, but one of the things I like about AE is that it’s as good as cash in lots of places, for the times I’m low on cash. With their no interest and pay it all at the end of the month, it’s a good card to have. At least for us.

  11. Will says:

    The new cards with the EMV chip actually offer dramatically lower fraud costs as opposed to the old mag stripe technology. The U.S. is just catching up to the rest of the world on this. EMV cards are the majority of credit / debit cards used outside the U.S. As of October 2015 if the retailers have not upgraded their point of sale card readers to accept EMV cards, fraud cost liability shifts to them from the card issuers. That’s why 2015 marks the rush to get the new cards issued and the new p.o.s. terminals installed.

    • Kathy says:

      Thanks for the info, Will, the push makes more sense now. I still don’t like it, but it makes sense.

      So the retailer are the useful idiots in this case. They herd us down the Big Brother path in order to avoid the responsibility for fraud.

  12. CW says:

    Although I respect your concerns about the tracking aspect of these card features, Kathy, it doesn’t alarm me as much as it does you. I would just point out that this is yet another one of the many untold consequences of a world under the influence of liberalism. While customers may not always like or appreciate the security features of credit cards, we now live in such a highly litigious society where people have been groomed to accept no personal responsibility for anything that companies like American Express are forced to go to excessive lengths to avoid any hit coming back on them. This is coupled with the fact that identity theft is a fast -growing problem that lawmakers have failed to take seriously or prioritize, meaning that companies like American Express can anticipate having to devote more and more resources to this problem unless they take their own steps to fight it. If consumers want more freedom with their credit cards they need to start demanding that our justice systems to go after these thieves with a vengeance and to show little mercy when they punish them.

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