When did Mondex ever claim to be anonymous?

I'm a student at Exeter University in England. If you are researching Mondex, I am sure you are aware that we are currently undergoing a world-wide Modex trial.

The National Westminster Bank have teamed up with the University to provide every student with an "Intelligent Student Card" to replace our old Student ID.

The new card has an electronic chip which can store a variety of information on it. We are not sure of exactly what it holds, but it can store "cash" - placed onto it from specific points around campus, or any Nat West Cash Point machine, or even using any phone box (Yep, the bank have also teamed up with the phone company (BT) in order to get the thing working).

The card can be used to pay for almost everything around campus. Even in the student pubs and bars. The Uni are offering cheaper drinks for those who pay by Mondex. It is a wierd sight to watch people handing over their student cards to pay for a pint!

I can give you as much information on the system as I can get hold of if you want it.

As far as privacy is concerned, The claim that Modex is as private as cash is plainly incorrect. Both the card chip and the card reader store details of the transaction. The student can use a phone box, card reader or Nat West Bank Cash Machine to get details of the last ten transactions stored on the card.

As for the Bank, they get details on the item the student has purchased, purchase location (the building and exact 'Mondex point' in the bar/shop where the transaction took place), the exact time and date the transaction was carried out, together with (obviously) the name and ID of the purchaser, etc.

Should the police require the information for Criminal purposes, then (I am almost certain) the Bank/University would be obliged by law to hand over the information. Where's the similar "privacy" for cash transactions?

As far as the card is concerned, we need it to enter all of our student facilities. Without the card, you can't play sports in the sports hall, or get into many Univerity social events. I think we will even be able to use the card to electronically vote. (The implications of this are obvious - will the hierarchy know your poitical standing in elections???)

It's funny, I never realised how much information they have on me, until I've just sat down and thought about it.

If you want any more details, just send us an Email.


cs94rjb@dcs.ex.ac.uk Rob Blakemore, Exeter University.