> Personally, I don't want to have a history of my travel stored in any
 > database. Right now, purchasing a one-time CharlieTicket is a 30 cent
 > surcharge per ride, but it is the only way to take the subway in Boston
 > without creating a travel history. Privacy in public transportation
 > should be equally accessible to all citizens, regardless of financial
 > resources.

I suspect that you, as do I, pay for as many things
in cash as humanly possible though, of course, we are
well past the point at which paying for an airline
ticket, say, in cash does anything more than make
you even more inspected than you would be if you
used credit.

That said, the 30c surcharge for having no record
kept for riding the subway is at once a "price" for
privacy that is at least expressed in the coin of
the realm and, at the same time, not a guarantee,
just a side effect.  If the MBTA general manager
were to say "For 30c more, we promise to forget
you were a passenger" he would be out of a job in
the morning at the Governor's demand and there'd
be wide agitation against the idea that better off
people get privacy when poor folks don't.  Do you
suppose that we can, just possibly, make privacy
into a class warfare issue?

We sort of do that already in that the people
who make privacy law, legislature and executive
alike, are afforded precisely zero privacy by
both the courts and the press.  As such, one has
to be a truly addled optimist to imagine that
those who have no privacy are nevertheless willing
to grant you more privacy than they have, unless
they are somehow nostalgic for what they themselves
lost in becoming a member of government.  Me, I
think that the loss of privacy required to become
part of government is a sieve for not caring about
such issues because, if you did care, you wouldn't
go into government in the first place.


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