Oyster Card Update

200806261048.jpgFollowing our story on Tuesday about breaches of the Oyster Card system, the Guardian has produced a thoughtful article on the subject. Whilst hacking cards may be attractive, the practice must also be put into perspective:

What’s also unclear is how worthwhile it would be for criminals. An Oyster card costs £3 – enough for two trips in the inner Zone 1. Only those who can get hold of them virtually free could make a profit. Criminals probably have their ways. But this isn’t going to lead to a collapse in Oyster’s use.

That said, there is a worrying article on the BBC website today about TfL’s data collection tendencies:

The Information Commissioner’s Office has criticised Transport for London for “collecting data without a clear purpose” for the children’s photocard… but some parents have raised concerns given that TfL admits application data will be shared with its subsidiaries.

Government and its agencies have a worrying record of data management. If the Oyster system is demonstrably insecure, then it is essential that the data corresponding to these cards is. The more data sharing between TfL and its subsidiaries, the more potential routes for data-loss exist. The Mayor and TfL need to take this issue very seriously.