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Engineer: Transport Cards Reveal Travel History

TRAVELERS’ PRIVACY—CHINA

October 11, 2011

A Beijing engineer says that public transportation cards are capable of serving as a tracking mechanism, China Daily reports. By entering a card's 17-digit code into the Beijing Municipal Administration and Communication Card Co's website, an individual can see where a passenger has traveled, which software engineer Li Teijun says violates travelers' privacy, "may undermine public safety" and could be used for nefarious purposes. "The database may also be an easy target for hackers," he says. A spokesperson from the administration says the cards--45 million of which are currently in use in Beijing--are not connected to real names, which negates privacy concerns.
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