Karl Smith (kazzman) wrote in uw,
Karl Smith

Anyone else rather uncomfortable with the notion that instead of a UPASS sticker, we'll now have microchips in our Husky Cards? That would make our usage of busses entirely trackable, and call me old-fasioned, but there was once this notion of "privacy" that seems to being dying off rather rapidly. If we're stuck with this change, I do hope we can be ever-vigilant to protect what is left of our personal privacy. Below the cut is a letter to the editor for The Daily which I just wrote.

I was exceedingly disappointed in The Daily's coverage of the planned switch to
Husky Cards containing micropchips. They bought the spin put forth by the
administration and, in an astounding feat of logic, dismissed any privacy
concerns about the chip by assuring us that stickers "wear out quickly."

There will be a great deal of pressure from various sources to record
information about usage of the Husky Card on busses, and much of it may seem
very reasonable (e.g. to improve bus service through campus). So given that,
what assurance do we have that any information stored will be completely
untraceable to individual users? Even if given such assurance at the outset,
how do we know there won't be a "Notice of Privacy Policy Changes" buried on
page 12 of The Daily in a year, which in tiny, tiny print purports to inform us
that they will now be keeping records of where individual students go and when?
The release of that private information has been widespread in recent years,
even when not done with malicious intent (recall the release of lists of AIDs
patients in Florida and the selling of cell phone records on the Internet - feel
free to Google it).

The greatest offense here, however, was the unilateral decision to make this
switch with no meaningful consultation of students - just as the Book Store
unilaterally switched from a check to merchandise credit rebate with zero
consultation of those affected. These decisions are too important for students
to be left out.

Karl D. Smith
Law Student (1L)
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