Hong Kong is waking up to the benefits of financial privacy using cash, reports claim, as protesters seek to hide their movements and identity.
Hong Kong Pays Cash To ‘Avoid Tracking’
According to various reports surfacing on social media this week, participants in the ongoing rallies against the Hong Kong government are choosing to abandon payment methods which could track them.
A planned law dubbed the ‘Extradition Bill’ wants to make it possible to send suspects to mainland China. This, the protesters say, would open up Hong Kong’s legal system to manipulation and for Beijing.
Fresh from the 2014 ‘Umbrella Movement’ pro-democracy events, citizens are now all too aware of the need to protect their identity in the face of a government with an increasing reputation for surveillance and intrusion.
“We’re afraid of having our data tracked,” a female protester told QZ reporter Mary Hui.
Hui was at a metro station in Hong Kong and noticed long lines at ticket machines “stretching back 10+ meters.”
There is usually never a line at the train ticketing machines. Judging from an overheard convo, it appears that people are reluctant to use their rechargeable Octopus cards for fear of leaving a paper trail of them having been present at the protest. pic.twitter.com/s1rsgSnCqL
— Mary Hui (@maryhui) June 12, 2019
The machines are normally empty, she said, as passengers use rechargeable smartcards which can be topped up in various ways. Now, however, with 2014 still in their minds, they appreciate the need for privacy when it comes to money.
“She said that this ticket-buying (wasn’t) as prevalent during the 2014 Umbrella Movement. Five years on, however, people are more wary &