Friday, September 28, 2007

Your Card In Their Hands

The phone rang last night and a man from my bank told me (after running though a couple of security questions) that there were some transactions on my credit card that required clarification.

Weightwatchers? He asked
That's legit, I replied. (Embarrassing).
That's the bill from the toerags who investigated my car while I was on my hols, said I. (Grrr)
£1.80 from itunes?
Er..I've never bought any mp3s off itunes - ever. (Wha??)
How about £1500 from the Natwest Currency centre in Peterborough?
That ain't me.(Jesu Cristus!)

Fortunately it was the massive currency trade that flagged it up, and the transaction was refused. But where was the protection from the much vaunted chip and pin system introduced with much fanfare two years ago?

The crims have stepped up their game, he told me. They get jobs in data handling centres, duplicate your credit card details into a USB memory key when nobody's looking then sell on the details to other crims via the net. It's rife, and so much safer than taking a sawn off to the local branch with Ed the wheels in the motor outside.

On reflection, this is how ID cards will fail. There'll be a chip, a PIN, your records in a sliver of metallicised plastic - but your details in some data handling centre staffed by kids and others on £6 an hour. The anonymous and ever increasing power of the net means that our details will be for sale in no time.

1 comment:

Francesca Preece said...

You're right to flag up those chip and pin things. It adds a pinch of fury and a dash of aggression with each use. I have to say that four digits do not make me feel particularly secure - namely since I can never remember the darn combination and nearly block my account. I also feel cheated of my trademark signature. Sigh.

Let's boycott them and return to the trusty pen like good journos.