Barcelona’s anti-privacy plan for public transport

Security camera on a wall

In awful news recently, TMB (Barcelona’s Metropolian area Transport) has announced some tickets will no longer be available in paper form starting next year. These tickets will only be available through a mobile app or a contactless plastic card 😱
The tickets are those with monthly validity and such. Not single tickets.

πŸš‡ But Ricard, this doesn’t sound so bad. πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅ Japan has plastic cards, πŸ‡°πŸ‡· South Corea has plastic cards… What’s wrong? πŸ€”

πŸ’© What’s wrong is that card are tight to your national ID, they will have your name, thus they will know how many tickets you buy, where you go, and so on πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ πŸ•΅οΈβ€β™‚οΈ
Surely, I do share location with Google Maps and potentially other apps but that is my choice. I chose to share location with services that give me something in return. The difference here is that I’m already paying for the service, and additionally, they might track me around. It’s not fun. I do not trust their systems, I do not trust they’ll never have a data leak. The only hope is that maybe their system isn’t tracking anything at all. I couldn’t find information to validate this.

It is a terrible, terrible idea and we who use public transport often are screwed. There is no way around this. If there is, please tell me in the comments πŸ’¬

The old system, even if not very eco-friendly ❎, would simply have cardboard tickets with your national ID printed in them for inspection as you can’t share these monthly tickets with anyone (single-use tickets were and will still be anonymous).

I’ve been waiting to order my card but today was the day. I’ve pulled the trigger, paid the 4.5€ (yes, the card is not even free) for the plastic contactless card and I’m waiting to receive it at home. Then I’ll try to add my monthly ticket to the card 😒

How does public transport work where you live? 🚌



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